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The Four Last Things (Simeon Grist #1) (Simeon Grist Mystery Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 488 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simeon Grist, former professor of English at UCLA and fledgling L.A. private eye, makes his debut in this clever mystery. To propel his plot, Hallinan adroitly depicts a new religion with avaricious leaders, New Age channeling and an overlay of California kookiness. Hired by the head of security of Monument Records to follow employee Sally Oldfield, suspected of selling information to competitors, Grist develops a liking for the woman. Then she is brutally murdered, and Grist is shocked to find that an impostor assigned him to the case. Investigating on his own, he follows leads to the Church of the Eternal Moment, with its child oracle Angel Ellspeth, her oh-so-smooth personal physician Dick Merryman and its crew of Listeners to whom the faithful confess all. As Grist searches for clues, aided by a former girlfriend, Eleanor Chan, now writing for the Los Angeles Times , he is threatened, beaten and involved in another murder. Televangelism, brainwashing, research into the early 19th-century diaspora of new American religions and a most unusual ally lead Grist to the denouement of this very satisfying mystery.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Soon after the alleged head of security for a record company hires Simeon Grist to watch Sally Oldfield, a nasty man kills her and then the so-called security head. Grist's investigation (he liked Sally from afar) leads to predictably questionable goings-on at the Church of the Eternal Moment. Hallinan delivers these somewhat muffled connections in mostly flat, charmless prose, so that Hollywood settings and Grist's quirks do little to relieve the boredom. Not recommended.-- REK
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 488 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0453006507
  • Publisher: Hallinan Consulting; 1 edition (June 26, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 26, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003UHVTXW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,743 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Edgar, Shamus, Macavity and Lefty nominee Timothy Hallinan has written eighteen published novels, all thrillers and mysteries, all critically praised. He currently writes two series, one set in Los Angeles and the other in Bangkok.

His 2014 Junior Bender novel, "Herbie's Game," won the Lefty Award for Best Comic Crime Novel of the year. His 2010 Poke Rafferty Bangkok novel, "The Queen of Patpong," was nominated for the Edgar as Best Mystery of the Year.

The Junior Bender mysteries trace the adventures of a burglar who moonlights as a private eye for crooks. In its first eighteen months, the series has been nominated for both the Lefty and the Shamus for best mystery. The titles to date are "Crashed," "Little Elvises," "The Fame Thief," and "Herbie's Game." Coming in April 2016 is "King Maybe."

The Junior Bender books are presently in development by comedian Eddie Izzard as a primetime television series.

In 2007, the first of his Edgar-nominated Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers, "A Nail Through the Heart", was published. "Hallinan scores big-time," said Kirkus Reviews, which went on to call the book "dark, often funny, and ultimately enthralling." "Nail" was named one of the top mysteries of the year by The Japan Times.

Rafferty's Bangkok adventures have continued with "The Fourth Watcher," "Breathing Water," "The Queen of Patpong," "The Fear Artist," and "For the Dead." "Queen," in addition to the Edgar, was nominated for the Macavity. Coming in 2015 is "The Hot Countries."

In the 1990s he wrote six mysteries featuring the erudite private eye Simeon Grist, beginning with "The Four Last Things," which made several Ten Best lists, including that of The Drood Review. The other books in the series were well reviewed, and several of them were optioned for motion pictures. The series is now regarded as a cult favorite.

He has also edited two books. "Shaken: Stories for Japan" contained original stories by top mystery writers and raised more then $100,000 for tsunami relief efforts, with every penny going straight to Japan. "Making Story: 21 Writers and How They Plot" contained practical ideas on plotting by well-known mystery and thriller writers.

Hallinan has written full-time since 2006. Since 1982 he has divided his time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, the setting for his Poke Rafferty novels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Vena on September 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll be the first to admit it; I was very, very skeptical when I bought THE FOUR LAST THINGS. Part of my skepticism had to do with the fact that this was billed as Mr Hallinan's first novel (I've come to find out that's not the case), but mostly because I'd just finished devouring all four Poke Rafferty novels and didn't think the Grist series would come close. I'd already decided the "early works" were not going to be nearly as good as the later ones. Oh, boy, I am so eating crow.

THE FOUR LAST THINGS is everything you could ask for in a suspense novel. Action, humor, and even philosophy, given the theme of this book. For the folks who don't know, this is actually the second in the Simeon series. Grab SKIN DEEP if you want to be properly introduced to Simeon Grist. If you'd rather start with THE FOUR LAST THINGS, it's all good. Mr Hallinan writes his novels in such a way that you never feel like you've missed a whole chunk of what's going on if you read his books out of sequence. He re-introduces tidbits from the previous novels and it does help keep the reader on point.

This book is an enjoyably quick read if you've got the time. Once you start you may very well find that you have to make time.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cliff on October 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first to be published in the Simeon Grist series but the second written. So I read it after the real first, Skin Deep. It makes a great continuation to the character of Grist but also works well stand-alone.

Highly recommended as a fast read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Data Grrl on May 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For awhile, this book seemed almost timeless -- the main character seemed so 1950's "hard-boiled" detective and a lot of the general descriptions seemed to be post WW-II Los Angeles. Only later is there mention of more recent (1970-1980) dates, which may have been unnecessary. The timelessness could have served well.

A church organization as the antagonist gave opportunity for discussions among the characters about the nature of religion. This was mostly not too heavy-handed (I only skipped forward once). I kept thinking that maybe there was supposed to be a parallel to Scientology.

The sadistic descriptions were held to a minimum and there weren't too many deaths, though there were lots of well-described fights. D. Smif was a great comic relief.

I really liked this book and look forward to another book by this author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EvKa on August 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd seen mention of Mr. Hallinan's latest book, "The Queen of Patpong," in a e-mail from Amazon, and it sounded quite promising. Seeing that it was part of a series, I decided to look up the earlier books in the series, and was very disappointed that the publisher had chosen to set a $9.99 price for the e-book edition of the first book, "A Nail Through The Heart," which was originally published in 2007. I wrote to both the publisher and to Mr. Hallinan, expressing my extreme disappointment at that, and was pleased to receive a very nice response from Mr. Hallinan explaining what I already knew: the publisher sets the prices and the author has no control. But it never hurts to apply pressure. But in his reply to me, Mr. Hallinan also pointed out that his first two novels, "The Four Last Things" and "Everything But The Squeal" were available from Amazaon for $2.99 each. At such a good price, I thought it was worth trying.

I'm glad I did. A VERY fun read, well written, excellent characters, a terrific first novel. I look forward to reading many more (although, unfortunately, his later books will have to wait until the publisher sees reason and offers the e-book versions at a reasonable price...)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leapin' Literary Lurkers on August 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a double pleasure to encounter a book that (a) has no major editing flaws (b) creates a detective/story that is downright fun to read. Simeon Grist is a treasure. I look forward to his return.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pine Street Reader on March 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I have read Tim Hallinan's later books (the Junior Bender series starting with Crashed). This series' hero (?) shares some of the Junior Bender's qualities but you don't get that potential spinning out of control feeling. Simeon Grist is competent, but untrained, smart but impulsive and always caring. Enjoyed this a lot and have purchased the next in the series.
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By nigel p bird on July 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Simeon Grist is a Private Eye operating in the colourful world of California. He has a need to protect the vulnerable and a quick sharp wit that he uses at every opportunity. How's this for a description of a rainstorm?
`Everybody was standing in doorways looking like bums, except for the real bums, who were using the shower to get clean.'
In `The Four Last Things' Grist is working 2 cases, one for the shady security chief of a record company and another where he's trying to locate the cat belonging to his sour landlady.
For the record company, he's to follow a lovely lady called Sarah Oldfield. Not that we're left in any doubt about Sarah's fate, even from the opening lines:
`I was just beginning to like her when she got killed.'
His investigation involves plenty of opportunity for a typically hard-boiled exploration of LA.
It's not long before Grist is working on Sarah's murder investigation gratis, fuelled by the need to find justice for her. This takes him into the world of a wealthy religious sect working out of Big Sur.
Overall, the detective work, the one-liners and the action prove to be very satisfying. Some of the explorations of the bigger questions of life dilute the power from time-to-time, but for anyone looking for new dimensions for their detective fiction, they can certainly find them here.
Rather fun.
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