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1915. A city emerges from the ashes . . . and so does a killer concealed in its shadows.Nine years after San Francisco’s great earthquake and fires, the city is just beginning to be reborn and is full of possibility. The World’s Fair is opening to herald the completion of the Panama Canal and display exciting wonders and the promise of the new technological age.Yet the primitive past haunts the city’s renaissance. Leaving a trail of brutality, a murderous fanatic secretly stalks one of the fair’s chief attractions: the brilliant mesmerist James “J. D.” Duncan. Homicide detective Randall Blackburn and his adopted son, Shane Nightingale, must combine their intuitive profiling skills deductive techniques to solve a murder that hasn’t happened yet . . . one that only its terrified intended victim can see coming.Praise for Anthony Flacco’s The Last Nightingale“Flacco imagines the chaos [of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake] in precise and vivid detail while contributing his own distinctive narrative touch.”–The New York Times“Gripping . . . [Flacco’s] screenwriting talent shines in this story of the earth’s destructive power and humanity’s moral depravity. . . . Dickens meets Hannibal Lecter. Brace yourself.”–Booklist“A frightening and haunting picture of a ruined city staggering back to reality.”–The Washington TimesFrom the Trade Paperback edition.read more
This is another summer book I picked up at a hospital book sale; the description sounded interesting and you can't argue with a book that costs .50 cents. I read it fairly quickly; it's an engaging and fast read, although to be honest, it doesn't exactly stand out. Billed as "historical fiction," the story takes place in San Francisco at the turn of the century. 1915, to be exact, 9 years after the Great Fire and also 9 years after the events of the first book (which I didn't read). The events focus on a police detective, Randall Blackburn, and his two adopted children, Vignette and Shane Nightingale. Det. Blackburn is assigned to guard a mesmerist, James "J.D." Duncan, in town performing for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. (First off, let me say that nearly every time Duncan is mentioned by the characters, they refer to him as "Duncan." No one in the book ever calls him J.D., yet that ridiculous name is printed out, in full, way too often. I know it's petty to mention, but I found it annoying. Did Flacco not have an editor?) In any case, the historical fiction title is pounded home with a lot of talk by the characters about the newest thing, the telephone, and how much they all hate it and don't think it's a technology that will last. Besides that, and some detailed descriptions of Vignette's clothes, you won't get much more in the way of history. The story itself is straight forward, deals with a stalker, methamphetimines and Alzheimer's, and is a nice, light mystery story. I found some of the dialogue between characters as well as their various internal thoughts to be kind of trite and unimaginative. As I mentioned earlier, it's an easy, fun enough read, perhaps more of a novella than a novel. Take it along to the beach and you won't be disappointed, but you might not find yourself remembering much about it either.read more
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The trio of unusual characters forged into a family unit in Flacco's The Last Nightingale--Det. Randall Blackburn and his two adopted children, Shane Nightingale and Vignette Nightingale, who are now grown to young adulthood--face new challenges in this entertaining sequel, set in 1915 as San Francisco prepares to host the Pan-Pacific International Exposition on fairgrounds constructed on earthquake rubble. Blackburn is assigned to babysit famed mesmerist J.D. Duncan, one of the exposition's headliners, who introduces the recently invented drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine to America. A woman with her sights set on Blackburn, a killer with his sights set on Duncan and civic leaders bent on rebuilding San Francisco's reputation at any cost, all threaten the members of the Blackburn family, whose evolving relationships form this historical's most appealing aspect. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved