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The Last Alibi (Jason Kolarich) Hardcover – August 1, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Jason Kolarich Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Ellis conceals and reveals information like a skilled poker player in his strong fourth legal thriller featuring Midwestern attorney Jason Kolarich (after 2012's The Wrong Man). Jason, who's on trial for murder, is sure of only one thing: if he testifies, he won't tell the truth. The clock turns back six months to when Jason meets beautiful court reporter Alexa Himmel, whom he's soon dating. He also has an odd-looking new client, James Drinker, who tells Jason that he's afraid that he'll be accused of murder. Jason and his partner, Shauna Tasker, begin to suspect that Drinker is guilty of murder, though the victim's identity isn't revealed until halfway through the book. Meanwhile, Jason appears to be battling a simple illness that turns out to be something a lot more sinister. Ellis's own background as an attorney gives weight to the courtroom scenes, and the plot twists keep readers guessing throughout. Agent: Susanna Einstein, L.J.K. Literary Agency. (Aug.)

From Booklist

Defense attorney Jason Kolarich (The Wrong Man, 2012) has always thrived on the courtroom’s adrenaline rush, but pain and medications from a recent injury have dulled his interest. So, when new client James Drinker claims he’s being framed for murder, Jason is not firing on all cylinders. As a preemptive strategy, he maps out the techniques the killer may be using to implicate his client. But Jason has missed cues suggesting that Drinker isn’t who he claims to be, leaving Jason the unsuspecting target when Drinker uses those techniques to incriminate his lawyer in a string of murders on Chicago’s North Side. Jason’s clouded memory holds the key to Drinker’s identity and motive for revenge, but he can’t retrieve it in time to avoid arrest. The playing field then moves to the courtroom, Jason’s turf, where he responds with an impressive but risky volley of Perry Masonesque maneuvers. Ellis’ plotting is playful yet airtight and infused with enough warped psychology to provide lip-chewing thrills. This fourth Jason Kolarich novel is an excellent choice for readers who seek connections with powerful characters. --Christine Tran

Product Details

  • Series: Jason Kolarich (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158803
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The Last Alibi" is the latest thriller from David Ellis, the Edgar Award winner who has written eight previous novels. Last year, he co-wrote the "New York Times" bestseller "Guilty Wives" with James Patterson.

Jason Kolarich is a hotshot attorney who has been on both the prosecuting and defense side of the courtroom. In this story, he's fighting off the effects of oxycodone addiction.

Maybe his mind wasn't as sharp as normal but he agrees to see a man who tells him his name and that he will be accused of murdering two women that he knew but had nothing to do with the crimes. He's sure that he's being set-up. Jason tries to get the man to go to the police but the man is unwilling to do so and Jason is bound by the attorney, client privilege.

Two other women are murdered and Jason feels obligated to let the authorities know about his client. When he sends the authorities information, the client calls Jason and tells him he knows Jason betrayed his trust and will suffer the consequences.

Jason ends up in jail being tried for murder. He's being defended by his best friend and partner Shauna Tasker. From this point on, the novel moves from the events in the trial to events in the months leading up to the trial. An additional character, court reporter, Alexa Himmel,approaches Jason and during the turmoil of what is going on, Alexa and Jason develop a relationship.

Jason's co-workers are concerned with Alexa and wonder if she's everything she claimed and Jason's intuition tells him that he should be wary of what is going on as Alexa becomes more and more assertive.

There are many twists and surprises in the novel which Ellis manages to write while creating gut wrenching suspense.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading "The Hidden Man" and then "The Last Alibi". I loved them both but feel "Last Alibi" was so much better. That is one you cannot put down! However, I am SO confused about a couple of things. In "The Hidden Man", Kolarich is constantly mourning his wife and daughter Emily. But at about 70% through the book, he remembers a birthday dinner he had with his in-laws and his pregnant wife (pregnant with his son) and his daughter Emily, who he lets carry the birthday cake to the table, and he mentions how his mother-in-law passes his other daughter, a baby, Justine over to his wife Talia. Yet that daughter Justine is never again mentioned? How can that be?
He also talks in his "Hidden Man" how his wife Talia went to 3 different high schools because her dad worked for K-Mart and traveled the country opening up new stores. Then in "Last Alibi" he writes the same thing about the new girlfriend Alexa. Alex's dad traveled the country opening up new K-Marts and Alexa went to 3 different high schools. These types of what I call ERRORS bother me greatly so I don't know if I can keep reading David Ellis. I have tried to find a facebook page for David Ellis or somewhere I can contact him and ask him about this but am unable to locate anything. If you know of a way, please let me know!
But "The Last Alibi" was one of the best I have read and highly recommend it. The inconsistencies aren't noticeable if you haven't read "The Hidden Man".
6 Comments 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
The plot of THE LAST ALIBI goes from twist and turns to cartwheels and somersaults. There are hints and flashbacks and lies and remembering. And it works extremely well.
The story is told from the perspective of two law partners. It begins with Jason Kolarich, a successful lawyer specializing in criminal defense cases, on trial for murder. His lawyer is his partner and best friend, Shauna Tasker.
Two and a five-line fraction pages later, it goes back six months with Kolarich defending a wealthy teenager who was arrested for the possession of two grams of crack cocaine. Kolarich’s plan is to show that his client was profiled: He was the only white person in a black area, and the discovery of the crack was the result of an illegal search. (This part of the story was eerily reminiscent of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida which ended last week.)
After the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter, Kolarich was prescribed Oxycodone to deal with the pain accompanying knee surgery. He refused to admit he was having any problems and became a serious addict.
A somewhat strange man, James Drinker, soon came to Kolarich’s office and said he was being framed for the murder of two women he knew and didn’t know how to protect himself. He said he expected the police to be questioning him soon and wanted Kolarich’s help. They meet together twice but all their other contact is by telephone: Drinker doesn’t give Kolarich his telephone number but calls him from a throw-away phone.
An additional main character, court reporter Alexa Himmel, joined the story when she brought a copy of the court proceedings to Kolarich’s home.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm at chapter 43 and the book is starting to fall apart for me, which is a pity because I've been enjoying it. I like a good legal thriller, some of the dialogue has been very compelling, both in the courtroom and between Jason and Alexa, their initial meeting. But, the way Jason holds everything to himself, we are supposed to believe, because of his - obviously tenuous - code of legal ethics and his keep it all to himself, never admit failure or fear "guy" personality/back story. It really doesn't hold up for me. This is the same character who was supposed to be mature and stable enough - with enough insight - to have had a happy marriage, to be a husband and father, and a successful attorney. Now we are supposed to believe he makes these incredibly poor, poor go-it-alone choices, which are at the heart of the story. Sorry, hard to buy this, Oxycontin or not. Maybe it will get better - I'll give it a few more chapters, and edit this review if it improves. If not, back to the library with it!

So, I've just finished and I have to say that it does improve - my initial review gave it two stars, but the story becomes ever more convoluted and unbelievable. There are a few things that Jason could have done to help himself, much sooner, in terms of establishing his innocence. So the ending, although it is kind of fun, is also rather contrived and relies on the reader suspending disbelief a little too much. I don't want to give away the details in case you want to read it, but, it is just mediocre, overall. Several other reviewers have made good points in regard to the weaknesses here. I actually think the story could have been improved by avoiding such a convoluted structure, the 2-person narrative and some other aspects.
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