This is the first of Piccirilli’s novels that I have read, so I came in with no preconceptions. First, let me say I really enjoyed it while I was reading it. I finished it in 2 evenings and appreciated that the plot moved along smoothly and although there were plenty of characters, the relationships were laid out clearly.The Rand family is, to put it charitably, dysfunctional. For generations…three of which are living together under the same roof…the offspring have been named for various dog breeds (Collie, Terry (Terrier), Dale (Airedale)…) and raised from the cradle to the “bent life” of crime. They have always made a comfortable living from grifting, cons, cheating at cards, breaking-and-entering aka:”creeping”, but have steadfastly drawn the line at violent, confrontational crimes.Which is why it is such a shock when one of the sons, Terry’s brother Collie, apparently commits a heinous act of mass murder, then calmly returns to his favorite bar, confesses and waits to be arrested. On death row for five years, and now only two weeks from his date with the executioner, he summons Terry to the prison, claiming that he is not guilty of one of the murders, begging Terry to investigate and find the real killer.In a family unable to demonstrate their love for one another in any meaningful way, with silence and secrets a daily way of life, Terry is conflicted about whether or not to commit to this investigation. Is Collie guilty? Covering for someone else? Just plain mad-dog crazy? Realizing that Grandpa is suffering from Alzheimer’s, albeit with momentary sparks of unexpected lucidity, and the uncles have recently been seen behaving oddly as well, Terry understands that “crazy” is a definite possibility. He begins to second-guess his sometimes dark thoughts and is haunted by the prospect that he may in fact be witnessing his own future descent into the same madness.“The Last Kind Words” is an enjoyable read. Like most such novels however, it weaves an intricate web that requires some level of suspension of disbelief. Because it’s difficult to tie *all* the loose ends up into a perfectly neat bow at the end, you should probably just go with it and enjoy it for the ride more than the destination.
Oh my! I stayed up until 3 am to finish this book in one sitting. That's several hours I'll never get back. It started strong, but turned completely lame as it got nearer to the "climax". Never read any of Unger's work before and am unlikely to do so now...thank goodness at least I got it at the library.
Thank goodness I got this from the library! While I feel like the world's biggest dupe for actually reading all the way to the end hoping for a resolution, at least I didn't waste my time AND my money. I'm totally done with this author...good luck to anyone who has any interest whatsoever in reading her future products.
I had no idea what to expect when I won this book from Library Thing. Wow! I was pulled in from the first page and could hardly put it down. The main character was someone you could identify with and become involved with. Loved everything about the book except the last page...that was just one step too far...the moment when you say "Oh, come on!" But it's certainly no reason not to recommend it highly if you want a tense pulse-pounder about a perfectly ordinary guy who gets himself caught in a life-threatening situation and has to decide how far he is willing to go to protect himself and his family. His reactions to the decisions he ends up making seem to be spot-on for a good guy in a bad situation.
Great little (33-page) book. Loved the sense of humor...felt like Josh is someone I'd like to know. I could totally identify, having presented my share of flannelboard lessons in Vacation Bible School myself. The nice thing about the book is that is it short and gets quickly to the point. No multiple chapters droning on and on, belaboring his points. An example: "Far too often we Christians search for God's will for our finances; but, we never make an effort to get out of debt. We pray regularly for God's will for a spouse; but, we search in places where we'd be embarrassed to pray. We stressfully pray for God's will in a job search; but we aren't diligent or dependable in our current jobs. We pray for God's will for friendships; but, we never make an effort to spend time with anyone new. We pray for God's will for a work life/home life balance; but, we never say "no" to any work opportunity that arises. Churches pray for God's will for a new location, but don't effectively serve the current communities that they inhabit."Nothing groundbreaking there, but who can read it and not be convicted by at least one of these points?Yes, Josh, I think you can now add "author" to your resume. And I don't say that just because you're a fellow Texan. ;-)I received free copy of this eBook through the Library Thing Member Giveaway in exchange for my impartial review.