For an avid reader of a wide-ranging assortment of books, a good whodunit serves a role similar to an appetizer compared to an entrée reading of literary fiction or nonfiction, but who doesn’t love a good treat now and then?
I read The Last Good Guy, written by T. Jefferson Parker that goes on sale August 13, in an advance reading copy furnished by Net Galley. Private Investigator Roland Ford gets a missing teenager case from a beautiful but puzzling woman. He soon realizes that she may not be trustworthy herself as the husband she mentions turns out to be fictitious. The teenager, Daley, supposedly her much younger sister left in her custody after the death of their parents, is gone, but other questions arise. Was Daley really kidnapped or did she go willingly as she tries to loosen the strict restraints laid down by an over-protective sister? What is their real connection with the ultra-conservative celebrity evangelist who tells a different story? What is going on at the secretive charter school, and what are the American Nazis, hidden away in their compound, really up to? Then there’s the question of what the SNR group label stands for, with one supposition being Say Nothing Real.
Previous cases come up in the narrative with enough explanatory information for those like me who had not read the earlier books in the series. The recaps are woven into the text well enough that I think they would be not be annoying to those who had. The book will not enrich your understanding or bring great enlightenment, but like relishing the chips and salsa before a Tex-Mex meal, relax and enjoy this fine tale.