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Last Ditch: A Leo Waterman Mystery (Leo Waterman Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – February 8, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Leo Waterman Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

G.M. Ford's fifth book about Seattle private detective Leo Waterman begins with a backyard jolt: the Boys (a group of ancient alcoholics who Leo looks after) dig up the 30-year-old remains of a gay-bashing right-wing newspaper columnist named Peerless Price while doing some work on the grounds of the mansion belonging to Leo's late father, politician Wild Bill Waterman.

It looks very much as though Wild Bill did indeed shoot and bury his arch enemy. And precisely because both a starchy relative and the entire Seattle PD warn him against it, Leo proceeds to risk life, limb, and his ancient Fiat convertible to prove his father's innocence. What he finds out--from Wild Bill's old driver, an ex-cop called Bermuda Schwartz, and other assorted ghosts from the past--provides a wild and often touching story that combines recent headlines (about the smuggling of Chinese immigrants) with moments of personal pain. That same combination is present in Ford's other books about Waterman: Slow Burn, Who in Hell Is Wanda Fuca?, The Bum's Rush, and Cast in Stone. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

It's hard work trying to keep a series fresh, and in Ford's fifth novel about Seattle private detective Leo Waterman (Slow Burn, etc.) the strain shows. Most of the recurring jokes?about Leo's powerful family and their embarrassment about his work, about his dysfunctional Fiat and his animosity toward the police department?fall flat. Even the Boys, the band of homeless drunks Waterman supports and employs from time to time, aren't quite as engaging anymore. When the 30-year-old remains of a gay-bashing, right-wing newspaper columnist named Peerless Price turn up on the grounds of the mansion belonging to Leo's late father, politician Wild Bill Waterman, it begins to look as if Wild Bill had shot his arch enemy. Because both his starchy uncle Pat and the Seattle PD warn him against it, Leo risks life, limb and ancient convertible to prove his father's innocence. What he finds out?from Wild Bill's old driver and other ghosts from the past (including an earless Oriental phantom straight out of Sax Rohmer; see the review of The Revenge of Kali-Ra, below)?proves more bizarre than exciting.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Leo Waterman Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380793695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380793693
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bio and Books
G.M. Ford
Seattle, WA

Retired astronaut and former Grand Dragon of the B'nai B'rith, G.M. Ford broke onto the mystery scene with Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?, a gin soaked tome featuring Seattle PI Leo Waterman, whose primary claim to fame was the group of street people with whom he occasionally worked. The six book Leo Waterman series was nominated for the Shamus, the Anthony, the Lefty and a couple of other awards probably best forgotten.

In 2001, Mr. Ford began a new series, featuring disgraced reporter Frank Corso and his Goth assistant Meg Dougherty. Six books later, Mr. Ford, as is apparently his ilk, decided to do "something else" and penned his first stand-alone thriller, Nameless Night.

The most recent chapter in Mr. Ford's writing life began in 2011, when, in a fit of pique, and after a twelve year hiatus, he decided to write a new Leo Waterman novel, Thicker Than Water. Thomas & Mercer (Amazon) promptly bought it, and signed him up to write two more. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mr. Ford is presently working on Leo Waterman #10. He lives and works in Seattle, and is married to the beautiful and talented mystery author Skye Kathleen Moody.


Books-

Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca? 1995 Walker/Avon
Cast in Stone 1996 Walker/Avon
The Bum's Rush 1997 Walker/Avon
Slow Burn 1998 Avon/Avon
Last Ditch 1999 Avon/Avon
The Deader the Better 2000 Avon/Avon
Thicker than Water 2012 Thomas & Mercer
Chump Change 2014 Thomas & Mercer
Threshold 2015 Thomas & Mercer
Salvation Lake 2016 Thomas & Mercer


Fury 2001 Harper Collins/Avon
Black River 2002 Harper Collins/Avon
A Blind Eye 2003 Harper Collins/Avon
Red Tide 2004 Harper Collins/Avon
No Man's Land 2005 Harper Collins/Avon
Blown Away 2006 Harper Collins/Avon
Nameless Night 2008 Harper Collins/Avon
The Nature of the Beast 2010




Find out more about GM Ford on his blog here: http://g-m-ford.com/

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been looking for new authors recently, and decided to give Ford a try. I am happy that I did. His main character Leo Waterman is in the same vein as Robert Crais' Elvis Cole, only perhaps not quite as funny. In Last Ditch, Leo, in the course of doing some renovations to his property, comes across a buried body. The body turns out to be that of his late politician fathers biggest enemy, and has been missing for some 30 years. Obviously Leo's father is the number one suspect, so Leo sets out to find the truth. Leo is a great character in the genre, tough, but not unbelievably so, very human, and of course wisecracking. There are lots of twists and turns and misdirections in this well plotted novel. The writing is also above the quality often found in the genre, Ford really puts the reader into the scene. If you like a good mystery, Last Ditch is a good place to look.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is definitely a quality book. It is a very well developed story with interesting characters. The story builds very well and the conclusion is satisfying. I would recommend this book to any avid mystery reader. I am a big fan of Robert Parker, Robert Crais, and Harlan Coben. While Leo Waterman doesn't have the sidekick that the hero in those books does, he has much the same demeanor as Spenser, Elvis Cole, and Myron Bolitar. The wit isn't quite as snappy, but still enjoyable. These are only minor comments and what prevents me from giving the book 5 stars, don't let it prevent you from reading this book. I have a ton of books, but I am sure that I will pick up another one of Ford's novels sometime in the near future.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great... why isn't this book available via Kindle edition? I am hooked on the series but now have to skip one...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am constantly looking for Waterman mystery novels by G. M. Ford that have previously escaped me. I found this one and for a bit, I thought the plot seemed familiar, however it turns out that it was new to me and well worth the read! The interactions among Waterman, his wife-girl friend, and his derelict irregulars are sure to entertain. This time, Waterman finds himself a bit too close to the murder investigation as he attempts to clear his deceased father's name despite his best intentions otherwise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can't say enough good things about Leo Waterman and his street bums, humor, inventive plots, the characters dance off the pages and the writing leads quickly from page to page. I'm now on my 5th Leo Waterman book and enjoyed them all.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Meet Peerless Price...please. He's Seattle's most widely read newspaper columnist of the post-World War II era, and almost as widely hated. He vanishes one holiday weekend in 1969, leaving behind unfinished ultra-right wing crusades against anti-war protesters, gays and illegal immigrants. Price turns up--literally--thirty years later from beneath the backyard of former archenemy/city councilman Wild Bill Waterman. Cause of death, gunshot wound to the head. Waterman's loyal PI son Leo, well aware of public speculation regarding his late father's involvement, moves to investigate.

Cool prologue, right? Diving in, Leo largely bypasses normal procedural channels; as he often does. Here, just to see what might happen, he crowds a handful of the city's very influential and possibly involved people, finally tying three seemingly unrelated '69 incidents together to arrive at a grand solution.

Leo's M.O. has at least some plausibility. At 6'3" and a solid 230 pounds, he's one of the largest fictional sleuths around. So maybe he could afford to be a little more aggressive than the rest of us. Then too, as the son of one of Washington state's most powerful politicos he knows how to work the system when things go wrong. Which, of course, they do for a time.

Fine, but on the other hand I note two implausibilities in "Ditch", one of which basically drives the whole story. Would a divorcee, who had effectively taken over her drunkard/abusive ex's expansive business holdings back in the day, then hire him to work on the company's maritime docks? And would said ex's later return from a decades-long stay in a mental asylum nearly coincide with the surfacing of Peerless's remains?

I don't know about this.
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By A Customer on January 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Seattle private investigator Leo Waterman and his girl friend Rebecca Duvall move into the mansion he inherited from his father, Wild Bill. The yard looks like no one touched it for the past decade. To rectify that, Leo puts "The Boys" to work, his homeless, usually intoxicated assistants.They are charged with cleaning up the yard. However, the crew uncovers a skeleton, which turns out to be Peerless Price, a reporter missing for over two decades.
Though his politico father loathed Peerless, Leo cannot believe his father would kill the ultra-right wing journalist. Leo becomes obsessed to investigate the mystery in order to save his father's reputation. The more he digs the more the evidence points towards Bill being the killer.
In the fifth novel, LAST DITCH, the Leo Waterman series remains a humorous, entertaining Seattle sleuthing series. The twists and turns that are trademarks of G.M. Ford are all in this novel. Leo, Rebecca and his
assistants are interesting characters, who make the story line even more fun to read. The addition of personal glimpses of Leo's childhood and Wild Bill help humanize an already brilliant series. Anyone who reads LAST DITCH will want to peruse the previous four novels because they read like a BMW.

Harriet Klausner
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