The Last of the Good Guys – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘Julie read the note and then the article. “I don’t understand,” she said from across her kitchen table. “What does this have to do with Ben’s suicide?” Alec looked at her. “I was hoping you might have an answer. Did Ben ever talk about these guys, any of them?” She shook her head. “They weren’t his close friends, that’s for sure. I vaguely remember a couple of the names, Rudy Johnson and Roy Harrison. But that was when Ben was still on the force.” “Stuart’s widow didn’t remember them at all. Didn’t even know if Stuart had maintained contact with any of them.” “So what next?” “Well, I’d like to talk to the others, the ones mentioned in the article. I know Roy Harrison died of lung cancer about eight years ago and both Conway and Johnson had resigned, which means I’ll first have to find them.” “You really think there could be a connection?” Alec shrugged. “I don’t know, but it’s worth checking out. In the meantime why don’t you go through Ben’s papers and stuff and see if you come up with anything that might show a tie-in.”
Alec Santana had been best man at his friend Ben Brody’s wedding. Now he sits with Ben’s widow Julie as they try to make sense of Ben’s apparent suicide. The only clue Julie is able to give to Alec is that Ben did start acting strange after receiving a letter that he refused to share with her. When Julie asked about the letter, he blew it off as a bill he forgot to pay. Yet less than two weeks later he commits suicide. Alec sees no reason for such a desperate act which makes him even more determined to get to the bottom of his friend’s fatal actions.
As Alec digs deeper into Ben’s death he uncovers the deaths of a couple other ex-policemen. And as the pieces start coming together, he discovers that not only did each of the men, including Ben, work the same case 15 years earlier where a young boy was rescued from a fire, but that all but one of them had committed suicide. WHY? What is the connection between the fire, the boy and the officers? I’ll give you a couple of clues…illegal behavior and money. But could Ben have been tied up in something illegal? Alec just can’t believe this to be true and is equally determined to prove his innocence.
The Last of the Good Guys kept me guessing throughout the whole book. I had my suspicions about half way through as to who was causing the “suicides” but there were a lot of doubts that went along with my reasoning. In The Last of the Good Guys, Ernesto Patino has done what he has done to me in the past…kept me guessing until the end.
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