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The Last Good Place (Krug & Kellog) Paperback – November 3, 2015
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In this story, our 2 detectives are hip deep in trying to find a serial killer, plus they have another murder that may or may not be related to the serial killer.
The story flows nicely. We get to know Kellog a lot in this story. Between trying to find the killer/s, we learn that Kellog is single; still trying to figure out females; as been in Homicide for a short time; and is trying to become a Lieutenant. I also liked that it was an old case that eventually solves the case.
While reading this story, I could hear Karl Malden and Michael Douglas saying their lines in this book! If you like police procedurals or are a fan of The Streets of San Francisco, you'll enjoy this book.
I read the three of the Krug & Kellogg by Weston where Krug is a negative' somewhat burned-out, old curmudgeon. While Kellogg is a Homicide newbie, he's a "natural" at being an intuitive, forward thinking, problem-solving cop. They have what amounts to an adversarial partnership. These books are all circa 1970's and the language of that time period is pretty spot on.
Enter this book by Robin Burcell . . . who I enjoy as a writer, immensely.
In one felled swoop we are transported from the 20th century ca 70's to the 21st century circa now. Krug and Kellogg have switched personalities AND locations! Krug has had a frontal lobotomy now channeling Mr NiceGuy, Kellogg is still nice but gives off an almost befuddled vibe. It was hard to read this huge jump in time and personality exchange. I read Burcell's explanation and thought that would suffice, but man, my brain was having a hard time wrapping around the time warp. This made the first portion of the book extremely, head-shakingly hard to read. By the end of the book I was fine with the complete characters do over but getting to that point was not an easy road.
Burcell is a good thriller, mystery writer but this switch took away from the pure enjoyment in reading another book of hers.
I could be the only person on planet earth who feels this way. One thing that may have made this so hard for me to wrap around my head is, I read voraciously, I finish one book then pick up the next book in the series and start to read immediately. So, I recommend not doing that. I was ticked at first and almost shut the book and moved on, but I'm glad I stuck with it.
• ISBN-13: 978-1941298855
The Last Good Place
Robin Burcell The Last Good Place
I picked this book on a whim. When I read the credentials of the author and the types of books it followed, I knew that it would be something that I would enjoy. And, did I enjoy it!
The book has so much historical background that I could never review it with justice. It is superbly written and an outstanding police procedural.
Very entertaining suspense read.
The second thing that bugs me...well, actually, it more than bugs me...is the grammar and writing style. Granted, the author is not a "trained" writer; she was a cop. However, with a team of supposed professional editors, I'd think the lazy grammar would have been cleaned up more. Way too many sentences that start with But and And that should have been connected to the previous sentence. Many of the sentences were choppy and short, which made reading flow about as smoothly as a plane ride over the Rockies. To some, that may not affect their reading one bit, but I spent too much time in college reading well-crafted prose, and the sophomoric quality of the writing hinders my ability to read this without getting frustrated. Along with that, some of the dialogue is a bit bland and simplistic. It reads worse than a Dragnet interrogation. The dialogue on the show was Pulitzer in comparison. Mike Stone and Steve Keller were also much more complex and well-rounded characters. I despise too much description in a novel, but the characters aren't really described much so far. It's almost like a piece of fan fiction where there's little description and background because it's assumed the reader already knows the characters. I doubt too many people who've read this read the Carolyn Weston books first.
It's not so terrible that I won't finish it. The author already put reasonable doubt in my head as to who the killer is, and, like I said, I'm only eight chapters in, but I won't stay up all night voraciously reading this like other novels.
Top international reviews
The novel opens with San Francisco resident Marcie Valentine heading out for her morning run. She takes the same route every morning with her best friend Trudy Salvatori. Only this morning not only is Trudy late, but Marcie is planning her downfall.
A Deadly downfall indeed.
Later that morning at Presidio promenade a dead body is discovered, strangled. Is this the work of the landmark killer? Who is the victim Marcie or Trudy?
Enter local cops Sgt Casey and Sgt Al. These cops are opposites in their personalities. But that only enhances the story telling. Casey is a young idealist, he believes in sticking to the rules by the individual letter. His partner Al on the other hand, is a seasoned cop. A widower in his 50s and old skool in his values. They’re on the case of a murdered witness in a drug dealing case. When they are summoned to the homicide at golden gate bridge. With something to prove to himself and his fellow cops, Casey is eager to take the case.
The landmark strangler has struck four times in the last four months. Leaving the bodies at famous San Francisco landmarks. The most recent corpse is not only at the golden gate bridge but the cops can see a clear view of Alcatraz from the scene. Is this this high-profile killer they so desperately seek? Or is this a mere coincidence. Al is cautious to jump to conclusions, without all the clues and evidence. But Casey is just too damn keen.
At the scene the cops are informed that it is park ranger territory, meaning it falls under their jurisdiction. But Casey refuses to let go of the case. They eventually agree to work alongside park rangers Becca Windsor and Glenn Powers. It isn’t long before the scene becomes chaotic, with witnesses and suspect on site. Casey and Al find themselves staring at the dead body of their alleged perpetrator.
The investigation uncovers various secrets and lies in the victim’s personal life. The tension amongst the neighbours is plain to see. There is various spin off themes, that leave you questioning if the victim was the intended target after all. Is someone else now at risk from the landmark killer?
Casey continues to be mocked by his fellow cops. But gets a sense of smug satisfaction when he is handed the murder book for the landmark killer. Can Casey solve the case or is he just an over confident rookie?
The media pressure and obsession with the case also plays a part. Local journalist Jenn Barstow has her own personal agenda in gaining access to reporting the case. She is not afraid to go to great lengths to find a way into cop’s lives. The media demand that the FBI be brought in, which leaves Casey desperately trying to align the clues and solve the case.
‘Dead hookers don’t sell papers. Murdered white women do’
When the victim is found to have ties to a local politician, the media think nothing of politicalising the entire case. Which only serves to make the case tougher for the cops to solve. As people begin to fret about their own reputations, they become tight lipped. Casey and Al must find the killer!
The novel has a fantastic ending, which I think will shock some readers. For me personally, I wasn’t overly engrossed in the theme of politics within the novel. This is not the authors fault at all. Under the current political climate, everyday life has fast become politicalised. Therefore, I enjoy my novels to be a form of escapism. It is also worthwhile noting, that the novel was published in November 2015 and it is not current politics that is the focus.
I found the characters believable and the plot very layered. A fantastic piece of American noir set in San Francisco. 4*
Very good read. Highly recommended. Look forward to reading more by this author.