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Runaway Heart [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephen J. Cannell

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Book Description

27 Aug 2004
Behind the impenetrable walls of a black-op government laboratory, a top-secret weapon is being developed - a genetically engineered animal with superhuman strength and speed. It thinks. It obeys. It kills without conscience. Lost-cause attorney Herman Strockmire and his daughter Susan are passionate advocates against corporate Goliaths. When one of their employees is literally torn limb from limb by one of the government's experimental prototypes, Herman knows he is onto something big. Hired to dig deeper into the employee's death, jaded Pl Jack Wirta is a man with little left to lose. Armed with nothing more than determination, Herman, Susan, and Jack plunge headlong into harm's way, stumbling upon a nightmare beyond all imagining.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; Reprint edition (27 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312997183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312997182
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11.2 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,357,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Galvanizing, nonstop action."-"Tulsa World""Cannell has a genius for creating memorable characters and gripping plots...a fun read."-"Publishers Weekly""A pro at the top of his game." -Stephen Coonts"Mr. Cannell's brand of thriller is served straight up...and he knows how to cut to the chase."-"The New York Times"

About the Author

In his thirty-five-year-career, Emmy Award-winning writer STEPHEN J. CANNELL created more than forty TV series. Among his hits were" The Rockford Files," " Silk Stalkings," "The A-Team," " 21 Jump Street," " Hunter," " Renegade," " Wiseguy," and" The Commish." St. Martin's Press is proud to have been his publisher for nearly a decade.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Herman Strockmire Jr., attorney at law, got his fourth severe ventricular arrhythmia at 7:45 Tuesday morning while riding up to his borrowed office on the thirtieth floor of the Century City high-rise. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MONKEYIN AROUND 1 Feb 2004
By Michael Butts - Published on
Cannell is best when he sticks to high-octane, energetic pacing and stronger characters. What we get in RUNAWAY HEARTS is a story that takes forever to kick into high octane gear, and we get as secondary characters, both seen and unseen, of Donald Trump, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Jim Carrey, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. It's like Cannell is showing how he panders with the upper crust celebrities. Cute, but rather unbelievable.
The plot is straightforward, although Cannell doesn't have to let the reader know on every other page, how "ugly and fat" Herman Strockmire is, or how "beautiful" his daughter Susan is. Judge Melissa King is too much of a villain to be believable, and the chimera aren't used enough to generate the suspense. There are some witty scenarios, and some black humor; and the ending picks up the pace considerably, but this is not Cannell at his best, as evidenced in his Shane Scully series.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fast paced overnight read from Cannell 14 July 2003
By Schtinky - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stephen Cannell has the gift of writing good old fiction that will keep you reading until you finish the book. The star of this novel is his unlikely protagonist, Herman Strockmeyer. An older, unattractive, overweight attorney for "lost cause" clients against Government agencies, he is the David that takes on Goliath for the good of humanity.
With a serious heart condition threatening his life, he refuses to take time out from his cases because he is the only one who will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. His lovely daughter Susan works with him, and during his investigation for his case against Gen-a-Tec and their biologically engineered corn, his assistant is savagely murdered. Susan and Herman hire unlikely detective Jack Wirta, an ex-LA cop with a prescription drug habit, to find out why Roland was murdered.
This unusual trio of heros is what makes this book tick so loudly, Mr. Cannell's talent for bringing these people to life is the heart of the novel. Our trio discovers much more than biologically engineered corn when their investigation of Gen-a-Tec pulls them into danger with DARPA, a black-op government agency that will do anything to hide their illegal and unethical genetics project. As they run from one danger straight into the next, barely escaping time after time, you won't be able to let go until the conclusion.
Fast paced as all of Mr. Cannell's books are, this is a good story and a quick read with a truly likeable protagonist, and a highly recommended break from your stack of self-help and text books. Enjoy! :-)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller! 2 Jun 2006
By Michelle L. Beck - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are a person who wants to believe in conspiracy theories or believe that anything is possible, this is the novel for you. There are government biologically enhanced animals;bad guys; a group of soldiers who do only what they are told; a brief showing of Donald Trump; mention of Barbara Streisand; a pain-ridden ex-cop who is falling for a beautiful attorney, who is the daughter of the main character; a main character who is a zealot for environmental and conspiracy issues. It is a delightful, fast moving story that is extremely enjoyable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Team Meets X Files 29 Dec 2003
By H. F. Miglino - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rather than summarize the book, as other reviewers have so skillfully done I recommend this book as an exciting page turner. Difficult to put down. SJC writes primarily about the LAPD beat and adds a bit of the x files. I really wanted to know more about "Pan" and his training, development and breeding. A better twist might have been if the DNA was alien or such. The Donald Trump addition was priceless. What ever happened to Pan after he wounded and ran away and disappeared, I've looked back several times and can't seem to find out what happened to him. If anyone knows please post. All in all it is a good quick read, possible made for TV movie.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! 1 July 2003
By Rafael Lydon - Published on
This is a great novel from Cannell. The story is smart, well thought out and at the same time is a fast paced action adventure. I found it hard to put down ! Cannell is a master story teller. Runaway Heart ranks up there with his other great novels and leaves you reflecting on the points he raises about our world. Go get this book !!!! Enjoy!
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