Summary and book reviews of The Last Goodbye by Reed Arvin

The Last Goodbye

by Reed Arvin

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

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Book Summary

'Reed presents sex, money, power, and violence in an irresistibly melancholy noir package, readers who value intelligence, fine writing and action will find it all in this outstanding novel.'

From the hot new suspense writer critics predict will have Grisham fans "switching their allegiance in midstream" comes a thrilling tale of love and murder set on the mean streets and in the sleek society haunts of Atlanta. . . .

Sleeping with a client's gorgeous girlfriend may have been the gutsiest move in Jack Hammond's formerly booming law career, but it wasn't the smartest. Booted from his elite law firm, Jack now scrapes by as a court-appointed attorney, his client list a revolving door of small-time drug offenders and petty thieves.

When his friend -- a computer whiz and former addict who'd brought his life back from the brink -- is found dead in his apartment with a syringe stuck in his arm, Jack knows something is very wrong.

Where the cops see just another overdose, Jack sees a murder. Investigating the case, he learns that his friend was obsessed with a beautiful singer -- who also happens to be half of the most popular power couple in Atlanta.

Talented and privileged, the spellbinding Michele Sonnieris nevertheless a deeply troubled woman, plagued by secrets. Against his better judgment -- and in a disturbing echo of his earlier fall from grace -- Jack is pulled further and further into her world, where he discovers more suspicious deaths, all pointing toward a mysterious cover-up.

A volatile tale of love, betrayal, and murder shot through with tenderness and poignant humanity, The Last Goodbye is a riveting thriller with a thunderously beating heart, a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of love and the burdens of the past.

Chapter One

SO I'LL TELL YOU. I'll tell you because confession is supposed to be good for the soul, and when choosing between the tonics available--from religion to Tony Robbins to the friendly late-night chemist--this unburdening seems to present the least risk. When it comes to my soul, I have adopted a doctor's attitude: First, do no harm.

The complete overthrow of my principles. That was what I had done. A moment in time, and my life--previously not lived to the highest standards, but plenty respectable--blew up. The distance between integrity and the loss of innocence proved to be razor-thin, a handful of decisions, frictionless, greased with desire. I thought I was choosing a woman. I thought--and I have to swallow this back, but it's the truth, and this is the unburdening, after all--I had earned her. And now she is my ghost, come to judge me.

This is the beginning of moral collapse: to be held captive by a woman's...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Library Journal - Jan Jorgenson

Jack is a highly unoriginal reworking of a dozen other down-but-not-out, reluctantly heroic lawyers who must fight the good fight. The plot also feels pieced together, which means the sum of the book's parts does not make a believable whole.

Publishers Weekly

... this isn't a legal thriller so much as a knight-in-shining armor tale with the hero cast in the mold of the great Travis McGee....Arvin should be compared to... the incomparable John D. MacDonald. Those readers who value intelligence, fine writing and action will find it all in this outstanding novel.

Kirkus Reviews

Less original than The Will (2001) but fleeter and more ambitious in a legal-gangbusters way that genre fans will find as irresistible as a call from the grave for revenge.

Booklist - Wes Lukowsky

Starred Review. Arvin's first legal thriller, The Will (2000), generated excellent reviews. His second just might kick him to a whole new level, critically and commercially. He presents love, sex, money, power, and violence in an irresistibly melancholy noir package in which redemption is the motive but hell beckons at every turn.

Reader Reviews

Word Maven

Where's the copy editor?
Riveting airplane read, but sloppily written. The plot inconsistencies, danglers, repetitiveness, bad punctuation, and awkward sentences make the reader wonder if Harper-Collins skipped the copy-editing process altogether. There's a lot of popular ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Reed Arvin was brought up on a cattle ranch in Kansas.  One day his parents brought home a beat up, polka-dot piano they'd bought for $50.  It changed his life - from that moment on he pursued music, 'first as a passion, and later, as a career'.

He traveled world wide as a professional musician before finally settling in Nashville as a record producer.  He says that contrary ...

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