FRIDAY

“2:30 a.m. The phone jack-hammered me up out of a tangled dream. ‘Detective Scully?’ a woman’s voice said. ‘This is Homicide Dispatch. You just caught a fresh one-eighty-seven…’ ‘In the L.A. River again?’ I sat up and grabbed my pants.” Could there be a better toe-touch into trash than Stephen J. Cannell’s grabber for his latest Shane Scully novel, Cold Hit? Cannell’s an old hand at jackhammering adolescents after their milk and cookies, having practically invented the cop show for 10-year-old boys (The A-Team, Hunter, uh, Silk Stalkings). Shit, his A-Team episodes had names like amusement-park rides: “Mexican Slayride,” “The Sound of Thunder.” For Cold Hit, Cannell, now an established author, bombs us with clichés—alcoholic cops, investigations that get personal, a gross-out serial killer. Ah, but this time he adds a homeland-security conspiracy. You’ll pity the fool who can’t get with that when he reads at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Borders, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Baileys Crossroads. Free. (703) 998-0404. (Jason Cherkis)

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