In today’s modern world everyone’s actions can be recorded with small devices in your pocket, even if you don’t want what you’ve done to be seen. Such is the case for assassin Roy Cooper. After performing his latest hit, he comes across an old man being murdered by some young gang members. Roy faces down the gangsters after they get the drop on him, and he manages to stay alive; and the entire thing is caught on a cell phone. The dead man was running for mayor in Los Angeles, and Roy becomes famous, which means death for an assassin. As Roy’s past and celebrity catch up with him, he is set on finding the young gangsters and distracted by his obsession, witnessing a baseball pitcher who’s about to break a record. This fast-paced, hardboiled thriller is quick, funny at times, and starts and ends with the most famous Los Angeles resident … earthquakes.
This gripping, darkly funny debut thriller from acclaimed screenwriter Scott Frank is "an L.A. story with a little bit of [Elmore] Leonard, a little bit of Day of the Locust, and a whole lot of earthquakes” (Interview).
Roy Cooper, a stoic, unassuming “errand runner” for New York criminals, is finishing up a job in Los Angeles a week after a powerful earthquake has wreaked havoc on the city. Wandering the streets of North Hollywood while looking for his car, Roy runs into four teenage gangbangers and finds himself in the last place he wants to be: the middle of another killing. A mugging goes awry, and a passing jogger—who turns out to be a prominent mayoral candidate—dies. Roy himself is shot twice and hospitalized in critical condition. A local resident catches the whole thing on camera in a video that goes viral. And Roy, by some twist of fate, comes out looking like the hero, losing the hit man’s greatest weapon: anonymity. Roy’s newfound fame draws unlikely characters into his orbit: Kelly Maguire, a disgraced LAPD detective with an anger management problem; Science, a young gang leader who needs Roy to keep quiet about what he’s seen; Mayor Miguel Santiago, who faces accusations that he’s just had his opponent whacked; and, most chillingly, Albert Budin, a dangerous man from Roy’s past who’s just learned that his old acquaintance is still alive.
About the Author
SCOTT FRANK began his career writing such films as Little Man Tate and Dead Again. His screenplay adaptation for Get Shorty was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a Writers Guild Award for adapted screenplay. Frank’s adaptation Out of Sight received an Academy Award nomination and won a Writers Guild Award. Frank has also written the screenplays for Heaven’s Prisoners, Minority Report, The Interpreter,Marley & Me, and The Wolverine. He wrote and made his directorial debut in 2007 with The Lookout, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Most recently, Frank adapted and directed A Walk Among the Tombstones. Shaker is his first novel.
Praise for Scott Frank’s Shaker
“With its driving narrative, slim chapters, and sensational plotline, Shaker really moves.” —Newsday
“A total page-turner first novel from an award-winning screenwriter and an absolutely new voice to watch on the suspense scene.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A gripping, strikingly original debut novel. . . . Every one of the characters, in particular the teenage gangbangers, springs to vivid and tragic life.” —Booklist
“Frank puts his career as one of the town’s best screenwriters to excellent use in his[A] sterling debut novel. . . . Shaker boasts a kind of unrestrained, manic energy reminiscent of the great Jim Thompson.” —Providence Journal
“Frank captures the underbelly of Los Angeles’s streets to perfection with sharply written prose and biting dialogue. . . . A richly layered crime story.” —BookPage