2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2003
Reviewed by Kristie Leigh Maguire,(...)
Kathleen Walls has created a poignant tale of the gritty underworld of drug addicts in LAST STEP. She draws you into the story from the very first page and does not let you go until the last page is turned; and even then, you find yourself flipping back through this compelling novel hunting morsels that you might have missed because you just do not want to let it go.
Vickie's daughter is dead. Just another dead druggie down in the slums of Jacksonville, Florida; nothing unusual for that area of town. Open and shut case.
Vickie isn't buying it. If her daughter hadn't been a drug addict, if her death had occurred in another area of town, the police would be investigating a murder instead of closing the book and calling it a case of death by drug overdose.
Vickie decides to leave her safe home and move into the very same slum house where her daughter was living when she died. She is going to prove that Karen was murdered if it's the last thing she does. It could very well end up being the last thing she does as she is drawn into the dangerous underworld of drugs, addicts, prostitution and crime.
LAST STEP paints a very realistic picture of the life of a drug addict. It is a nitty gritty page turning thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat as Vickie and Karen's story is revealed. You may find out more than you ever wanted to know about this blight on modern day society - the world of drugs and the people addicted to them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2001
LAST STEP begins with a stark hook as a young woman lies dead -- an accident of destiny and cruelty. One of Jacksonville's unfortunate addicts, Karrie Moore made her living on the street and on her back to support her habit. Despite repeated attempts to go straight, the allure of the drug had sucked her in until it was too late. So when the police dismiss Karrie's death as yet another OD, only her mother tenaciously perseveres in uncovering the truth. Karrie might have been an addict, but she was also a victim of circumstance -- and murder.
Karrie's mother Vickie refuses to accept the police's dismissal of her daughter's life. Determined to discover the truth, she leaves behind an empty life and a dying relationship to move into the neighborhood where her daughter lived and died. Her growth and self-discovery becomes a reclamation of her own power. Danger stalks her steps, however, as those who live from the profits of drugs are closing in.
LAST STEP moves beyond the simple teachings of treatment programs to tell the story of a mother who, in the seeking of truth, finds her own path to independence and real love. Written with a deep understanding of the power of drugs over life, LAST STEP evokes the power of the twelve step programs to salvage lives savaged by drugs. Further, the whodunit plot provides a strong counterpoint to the mother's transformation, moving the novel along at a smart clip and providing a strong conclusion. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a reader of mysteries. Does that mean I didn't like Kathleen Walls new novel, Last Step? Absolutely not.
"Last Step" is one of those titles with some depth. Because it is a story about a mother who is convinced her drug-addicted daughter has been murdered "Last Step" evokes the "We came to believe..." passage that all twelve-steppers know. It is no treatise on any program, though, because it is also a story about a woman who is taking her first step toward independence and toward love.
Here we have a tale about how a woman gathers up her strength to follow her convictions and, in doing so finds more strength. Here we have a story that combines a whodunit with some memorable characters, a little romance and a straight-forward attack at moving a mystery along. For those of you who like to learn a little something as you read, you won't be disappointed either.
on March 25, 2015
I was pretty disappointed in this book. I was hoping for a cozy mystery, but got more of a damsel in distress. Vickie is so clueless that she gets one person killed and nearly gets herself and another killed. Her determination to find her daughter's killer does not match her personality. The romance scenes are so awkward that I would have skipped them entirely if I hadn't been listening to the audio version. The writing was really clunky and created staccato sentences that broke up the flow of the book.
This is the second book I've heard narrated by Lee Ann Howlett. Once again, the pacing was slow and I had to turn it up to 3x speed. However, her characters are always distinct and varied and it is possibly the only good thing about this book.
Listen to the audiobook if you want to enjoy at all.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
on February 13, 2013
A director that pierces the darkness ahead, he shines meaning on anal eyes otherwise lost in a sea of uselessness. What more could one destined for a shipwreck on the rocks wish for? Silence bothers no neighbors yet his light comes from the heavens above... feels real... not woven silk of the fabric of fantasy which appears to have an entire nation cloaked in wonder. Can't put it down, ever. Too bright! So open your eyes, look to the sky and see (with me).