Riding the Snake

Riding the Snake

A Novel

Book - 1998
Average Rating:
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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.

Publisher: New York : Morrow, 1998.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780688158057
0688158056
Branch Call Number: CANN
Characteristics: 383 p. ; 24 cm.

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PolyWogg
Sep 17, 2017

PLOT OR PREMISE:
Stephen J. Cannell is an expert at pulling PR successes with fluff on the TV airwaves. This book is no exception. It takes a wealthy playboy (who never measured up to his father's standards) and a black female cop (who came from the streets) and throws them together to investigate a crime committed by Asian tongs. About the only thing missing from the demographics are gays because we also have Russians and international intrigue. The short plot summary is that playboy Wheeler Cassidy loses his seemingly straight-laced brother to an Asian tong war involving immigrants "riding the snake" to America and the "free" elections in Hong Kong as it reverts to Chinese rule. Along as his investigative partner is a black cop, Tanisha Williams, being investigated for having ties still to her "hood", and therefore assigned to a desk in the Asian bureau of the LAPD. She investigates the death of Cassidy's brother, and the brother's secretary, and it all leads off to Hong Kong -- taxi!

WHAT I LIKED:
A weird series of events leads from Hong Kong back to L.A. and more fights with the tongs, and a Russian nuclear bomb that has been smuggled into L.A.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
Basically, the writing is fine, but the story is what happens when you take a Tom Clancy-type story, and replace the spooks with characters from your average cop story on TV, and run it along the same TV format plot lines. No depth here, but he hits all the major story headlines from popular press.

BOTTOM-LINE:
Holes all over the place but fun ride

DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him / her on social media.

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