MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Last Goodbye by Reed Arvin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Last Goodbye

by Reed Arvin

The Last Goodbye
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2005, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The coroner explained to me that when he broke her jaw she would have stopped begging him for mercy. But it was when he broke her ribs that she stopped breathing. Respiration wouldn't have continued for long, what with the punctured lung, the rapid and inevitable buildup of fluid around the heart. He testified that she would have survived between four and six minutes.

No one was able to testify what Miguel Caliz had on his mind while he was beating the hell out of Violeta Ramirez. He might have been taking revenge on her for breaking the foremost rule of dating a thug: never cheat. He might, on the other hand, have felt nothing at all. He might have been as calm as a hot, airless Atlanta day in summer. But either way, Violeta Ramirez was dead.

I learned what happened when I was served witness papers in the middle of a lunch with clients at 103 West, a trendy and expensive restaurant in Buckhead. I smiled apologetically for the intrusion, set down my glass of pinot noir, and read the handful of lines that were to blow up my world. Caliz's lawyer this time was cheap--I had never heard of the firm--but not so cheap that he didn't know there was sympathy for his client in the fact that I had just slept with his girlfriend. So my deposition would be required.

Some weeks later I put my hand on a Bible and swore that my name was Jack Hammond, and these were my sins. But a judge isn't a priest, and he didn't offer any penance. I would have to find that on my own. He did, however, use the word reprehensible in his admonishment to me before I was excused. That word was powerful enough for the firm of Carthy, Williams and Douglas. They did not desire to have a person who committed that word in their employment. The tawdriness of what happened to the girl was not a positive reflection on the firm, and I was on the street.

For several weeks, I didn't turn off the lights in my bedroom. I simply sat, watching the hours click by slowly. Eventually, my body demanded its due, and I closed my eyes. But it was a dangerous sleep, and there was no protection in it.

It means nothing at all to me that Miguel Caliz will spend the next several decades in a federal penitentiary. Locking up Caliz did nothing to restrict the memory of Violeta Ramirez. That memory continues to haunt me, both in daylight and dark.

The complete overthrow of my principles. That was what I had done. And here I make confession, for the benefit of my soul. But even as I confess, I know that the scar remains. Until I make this one thing right in my life, I will have no peace.

From The Last Goodbye. Copyright © 2004 by Reed Arvin. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Do No Harm
    by Henry Marsh
    British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh might already be familiar as the subject of the Emmy-winning ...
  • Book Jacket: Everybody's Fool
    Everybody's Fool
    by Richard Russo
    Written from multiple viewpoints, Everybody's Fool features an ensemble cast of inhabitants ...
  • Book Jacket: The Strings of Murder
    The Strings of Murder
    by Oscar de Muriel
    As Jack the Ripper eludes the police at Scotland Yard in London and all efforts to catch the most ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams

    The Roaring Twenties comes to life in this tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Life of the World to Come
    by Dan Cluchey

    Smart, sad and crackling with wit, a book about love, life and what happens after.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.