Customer Reviews: The Last Good Man: A Novel
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on March 21, 2012
I won this book from Goodreads first readers giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

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.
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VINE VOICEon April 9, 2012
I'm not sure how to categorize this book, in all honesty.

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.
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on March 6, 2012
In the Yonghegong Temple in Beijing, Ling the monk drops dead with an inflamed etching across his back. Italian police officer Tommaso di Barbara sends Giuseppe Locatelli to Suvarna Hospital in Mumbai to confirm what he expects with the death of economist Raj Bairoliya. The same thing had occurred in Hanoi and elsewhere. Tommaso believes someone is murdering humanitarians around the globe.

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.

Harriet Klausner
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on July 22, 2012
So slap me, I enjoyed Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, and Kazinski's The Last Good Man even more so.

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.

--Ashland Mystery
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on May 11, 2012
I really enjoyed this Novel. It was unusual that it contained a female character I could identify with. I am a female Scientist and Physicist, and in most books they don't exist.
As is almost always the case, the ending was a bit weak.
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on April 11, 2012
Without going into the plot, I will say that the writers (AJ Kazinski is a pseudonym) did a brilliant job. The characters are well drawn, and the theme of the story is well described. No problem whatsoever with the translation. I highly recommend this book.
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on March 29, 2012
Near the end of the book, the authors answer the question "why are we here?" with the simple "to learn". In most respects I apply that same test to every book I read. I can definitely say that The Last Good Man is a thought-provoking, articulate and intelligent thriller. The authors ask their reader to question beliefs, to question why we are here, what is the meaning of love and whether there is life after death.

Frankly, to ask these weighty questions in the context of a thriller seems to be a bit paradoxical. Yet, The Last Good Man proceeds at a rapid pace, never bores and always compels the reader forward. Strangely, the main character's fear of travel is offset by the many locales featured in the book.

As an avid reader, I can assure you that The Last Good Man is worth buying, worth reading and worth the effort to take some time to think about its message once you are done.
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on April 12, 2012
This tale of the men who seem to be the chosen ones to represent good in the world only kept my interest for the first 2/3ds of the novel./ Then it seemed as if the author had run out of steam and my interest waned considerably. Would that there were 36 good men in the world balancing out the 2 trillion and 36 badmen!
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VINE VOICEon March 22, 2012
Rating: 3.5 stars

The Last Good Man starts out with an exciting premise and some exquisite characters...a police negotiator with phobias, a brilliant astrophysicist with a failed romance, a tenacious Italian policeman...all of whom join to determine why a number of "good people" are dying worldwide. Are there a number of people identified as angels on earth? I loved the plot and the situations the principles were involved in, but towards the end I found myself asking, will this never reach an end... And what happens if they all die? Does mankind disappear? Interestingly, we never find out. As best I can determine, a new wave is identified, and life goes on.

This is a difficult book to review. I liked the storyline, the character are realistic, but there are situations that seem to just go on and on. In one instance, the main character runs from one hospital floor to another--over and over--in search of a good person destined to die. I suppose the futility is part of the issue, but come on!! In another instance, a character is brought into play (a terrorist) who ultimately has a limited role after pages and pages of plot line development. Ouch! Some questions are vaguely answered, and some issues are left hanging.

Still, there is a lot about this book I liked, but it was just too much of an effort to get there. It takes a good person with patience to endure it.
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on September 18, 2012
The premise of this book drew me in: 36 good men who don't know they are good men, at risk from some unknown force that wants to destroy them. But the writing lacks imagination and the use of language lacks inspiration. The plot jumps around geographically, and there is not a strong enough connection to make the different parts interesting. There is still a long way to go, and I will probably continue reading this book until I find something better to take its place. Perhaps the resolution will provide better support for the parts that went before it.
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