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The Last Good Man: A Novel Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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"With a rich brocade of charged emotion and a hero with grit and determination, The Last Good Man never disappoints. This one has everything I look for in a thriller--history, secrets, conspiracies, action, adventure, and international settings. Check this one out, you're going to love it."—Steve Berry, New York Times-bestselling author of The Amber Room and The Columbus Affair
"The Last Good Man is a vivid, powerfully written adventure, where religion and science are melded into an impassioned brew."—Juan Gómez-Jurado, author of The Moses Expedition and The Traitor’s Emblem
“Intense…. Moments of rapid-fire suspense… A truly compelling and worthwhile journey.”—Associated Press
“A mind blowing novel . . . with a spectacular ending.” —Pleine Vie (France)
“Breathtaking.”—Ekstra Bladet (Denmark)
“So tight and exciting that the pages fly through your fingers.”—Fredericia Dagblad (Denmark)
“The buzz thriller of the season.”—L’indépendant (France)
“A.J. Kazinski spins the web of suspense ever tighter, and the reader becomes irrevocably trapped in its web… An unbelievably good ending.”—Hamburger Abendblatt (Germany)
“A fast-paced, smartly plotted book … with a cast of lively and likable characters.”—Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
The Last Good Man is a thriller about 36 good people (the only ones standing in the way of evil) who are being eliminated around the world and the two policemen in different countries who are the only ones who believe what's going on: the main protagonist Niels in Copenhagen and Tommaso in Venice.
There are a lot of great things about this book. It's fast paced, well written, and the first half of the book makes mostly the right moves. There are secrets that are revealed that I am highly impressed by. Niels is a likeable protagonist and Hannah, the physicist, is also a compelling character that adds a high level of intelligence to the book.
There are some issues, which prevent me from giving this book five stars. The big reveal in the last third of the book was anticlimactic; previous surprises were much more impressive-- this surprise was easily figured out. I also wanted to hear more about Tommaso, who was the first person to believe there was a pattern to all of these deaths. How did he come up with this pattern? We only see glimpses, and then the rest is Niels trying to figure out what Tommaso has already figured out. Also, it seems kind of ridiculous that neither of them answer their cell phones for the first half of the book. And then, from there on, I was expecting... more. The ending just seems a letdown when the opening is so grand, so big. I was really anticipating a big conspiracy to reveal itself.
That said, I blazed through the book in a day. It was a fast, fun read, especially the first half of the book, and had some great characters.
Theme: there are 36 "good men" spread around the world, and the survival of at least one of them is necessary for the continued existence of humanity. But of late, they seem to be dying off, the one common trait being that as they near death a huge mark starts to appear and develop on each of them, spreading from shoulder to shoulder on their backs.
A couple of cops, one in Copenhagen and one in Venice, have managed to tumble on to the fact that these deaths around the world are linked, and we follow them as they try to solve the mystery of these seemingly inexplicable events.
I found the book to be an interesting exploration of the meaning of "good" in human society; it was clearly an attempt to delve into this idea, with many spiritual and metaphysical aspects.
But it also had shortfalls as an allegory: ultimately, there was no real "reveal" of what was going on at the root of the issue. For a book exploring such a fundamental theme, it failed to actually take a position in the end. This was disappointing and frustrating.
Further, whether due to pacing or plotting, I think categorizing this book as a "thriller" was more a matter of pigeonholing and convenience than being an accurate description. Without going into plot reveals and spoilers it's hard to get real specific, but the term "thriller" in novels connotes elements to a story that were completely missing in this book.
Again... interesting, but if you get it with the idea you're going to be reading a traditional "thriller", I think you're going to be very disappointed.
Stunned, Tommaso links thirty-four identical deaths of good people by a serial killer, which leads him to Jewish scripture of the pious thirty-six preventing the end of humanity. As the world climate summit comes to Copenhagen, Tommaso enlists Danish detective Niels Bentzon to help him save the last two standing. Niels finds nobody worthy until he obtains the help of grieving scientist Hannah Lund, who struggles with her son's suicide. She finds the pattern in which the last two homicides will occur in Venice and Copenhagen very soon.
Based on the Jewish belief of the thirty six righteous but unenlightened people who prevent the end of the world, The Last Good Man is an exhilarating thriller. The prime trio is fully developed with flaws and disbeliefs making them human. Their desperation to identify and keep safe the last two good people standing is fun to follow. Although the Jewish scripture of pre-determined chosen ones is fascinating, this insight slows down the pace of an otherwise exciting running out of time biblical doomsday countdown.
The mysteries of science and religion collide and slide together in perfect interlocking segments. It takes some brilliant thinking to even conceive of the scope of the mystery, and a mathematician to put together the pieces. But is it intuition or painstaking investigative work that carries the plot? Neither and both, certainly a pleasure to read this global thriller set in Copenhagen, Venice and places remote and mysterious.
Some wonderful philosophical thoughts - how to define a good man, the sacrifice of one to save many, ever lasting hope in the face of despair and loss.
Thanks Simon and Schuster for sending this advance readers copy of The Last Good Man, the first work from filmmaker Anders Ronnow Klarlund and author Jacob Weinreich, writing as AJ Kazinski. The work won the 2011 best first novel from The Danish Academy of Crime Fiction and the 2011 French Prix Relay.
I'll watch for more from this dynamic Danish duo, Klarlund and Weinreich.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written original story with realistic characters and a touch of the supernatural. I wanted to know how it ended but I didn't want to finish this book because it would all be... Read morePublished 17 months ago by David Gould
Interesting premise, it simply left me flat. Kazinski explained the reasoning, detailed the how, showed the why, I felt he could have
been more definitive on the final... Read more
The Last Good Man starts with an interesting premise based on Jewish folklore, namely that there are always 36 righteous men on earth holding back evil. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Michael G Kurilla
I was worried that this adventure book would be too religious- to the tune of "The DeVinci Code" and other such books. Read morePublished on October 23, 2013 by Jaynie L. Gaskin
This was a very well written novel that I could not put down! Character development was wonderful and the plot was mesmerizingPublished on July 28, 2013 by Larry
I very much enjoyed this book. A brilliant story that had me hooked from the start. Will definitely recommend it on to friendsPublished on July 6, 2013 by Veronica Bugeja
This is an intriguing mystery. The book, like many Scandinavian books, is very dark. The is an interesting spin on a morality tale cloaked in a mystery.Published on May 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
A very weak story. Lots of strange random events, which eventually turn out to be some mystical repeating set of historical events for which little justification is made. Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by PeterP
Very intriguing although the ending was disappointing. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. Truthfully, I enjoyed the book.Published on January 17, 2013 by marilyn mayer