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Cannell, Stephen J.

394 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0688158056 / ISBN 13: 9780688158057
Published by William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, NY, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Joe Staats, Bookseller (Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed by author on title page. Stephen J. Cannell is an Emmy Award-winning writer/producer who has created 'The Rockford Files', The A-Team', '21 Jump Street', 'Wiseguy', 'The Commish', and more than thirty other blockbuster televisions shows. His novels THE PLAN, FINAL VICTIM, KING CON, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, and HOLLYWOOD TOUGH. As new, first edition, first printing, in fine, mylar-protected dust jacket. {Not remainder-marked or price-clipped} L94. Bookseller Inventory # 11165

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Sweeping from the exclusive golf clubs of Brentwood to the depths of Hong Kong's mysterious walled city, Riding the Snake is a thriller torn straight from the headlines. It's set in a deadly Asian underworld where terrorism, international influence peddling, and illegal immigration converge into a single sinister web with a heartless Chinese crime lord at its center.

To prankster/L.A. playboy Wheeler Cassidy, things look a little bleak. His trust land is dwindling, his good looks are dissolving into the daiquiris, and his life has no direction -- until his golden-boy younger brother, a prominent lawyer and political power broker; is found mysteriously dead. Wheeler joins forces with the beautiful Tanisha Williams, an L.A. cop from South Central who's been parked on the Asian Crimes Task Force while Internal Affairs investigates her career. Together they embark on a dangerous quest for the truth -- against deadly odds.

Tentatively at first, then with growing confidence and passion, the two follow their leads into a labyrinth of violent intrigue and a multibillion-dollar Chinese criminal conspiracy that teaches to the top of the U.S. government. Soon they find themselves up against the most ruthless Triad leader, the Washington Establishment, and violent L.A. gangsters. As Riding the Snake races to a riveting climax in the sewers beneath Los Angeles International Airport, you can almost hear it ominously ticking down -- like the suitcase nuke that's set to incinerate a big chunk of Southern California.


Stephen Cannell's extensive experience as a television writer (he's most famous for creating and scripting The Rockford Files) is readily apparent in Riding the Snake. He's done his homework, so his movement among the worlds of the aging playboy Wheeler Cassidy, the Hong Kong Triad, and the Asian Crimes Task Force of the LAPD is natural and well executed. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Cannell's book, though, is his depiction of Tanisha Williams, a young and gifted African American detective on the LAPD. Tanisha is assigned to Asian Crimes to get her out of the way--she's refused the advances of her superior, and now she's been put under investigation. She eventually crosses paths with Cassidy who is jolted from his wastrel life of alcoholic binges and womanizing by the mysterious disappearance of his brother and the gruesome murder of his brother's secretary. Cassidy and Williams join together to investigate what appears to be a massive infiltration of the U.S. government by powerful leaders of Chinese organized crime; along the way they develop an unlikely romance. The novel blurs reality with fiction, talking about President Clinton's attempts to normalize relations with China and making connections between real campaign scandals and Cannell's fictional Chinese mobsters. While the metaphors are occasionally strained, Cannell is an old-style craftsman who knows how to tell a good story and keep his reader fully engaged until the final pages. --Patrick O'Kelley

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