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The Last King of Texas Paperback – Apr 3 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 3 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553579916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553579918
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 11 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #375,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.1 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on Aug. 4 2002
Format: Paperback
A decent detective yarn. Tres Navarre is an interesting character with interesting friends. Rick Riordan makes me wonder what they are going to do next which is a good thing.
This novel has Tres taking a professorship with University of Texas, San Antonio. He's to protect himself from becoming the third professor in the position that dies and to help the detective agency he works for to find the killer of the other two.
I liked the characters I was supposed to like and disliked the characters I was supposed to dislike. I was suitably confused about who the real bad guy was till the end of the book. I like the way the author writes about San Antonio.
One thing Rick Riordan needs to work on is his gun lore, although it wouldn't surprise me if the author considered himself above guns. For me it was like finger nails on the blackboard when he talks about "silenced .357 semi-auto handguns" or "mercury filled .45 slugs leaving pock marks" in the stone around a fireplace or "a high powered Mossberg over and under."
Grrrrrr.
The .357 caliber is typically used in revolvers and it wouldn't be a good choice for use with a silencer because the bullet itself travels over the speed of sound and makes its own little sonic boom after it leaves the firearm. The mercury filled .45 might be a direct steal from Day of the Jackal but even if it isn't the point of the mercury would be to cause a tremendous amount of expansion of the bullet when it hit something. It shouldn't penetrate the victim and still have enough force to scar the brickwork around the fireplace. It should expend all of its energy in the victim. Finally the high powered Mossberg over and under would read much cleaner if it had been referred to as a Mossberg pump.
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Format: Paperback
The third effort of author Riordan and his featured lead character Tres Navarre was a bit disappointing to me in comparison with the first two books, Big Red Tequila & Widow's Two Step.
I particularly did not care for Riordan's attempted "put downs" of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which is a sister institution to the University of Texas at San Antonio. The immediate deceased, Aaron Brandon, had been employed for six years at UTPB before moving to UTSA a few months before. UTPB is smeared in comparison with UTSA as one known among academia as the University of Texas of the "Permanent Basement." The characters' dialogue does not ring true when the widow talks about their years spent at "Permian Basin." No one talks that way in real life. The school is referred to by locals as simply UTPB and people either live in Midland or Odessa or other area towns, but not at "Permian Basin."
The plot was somewhat cumbersome and I certainly hope for a better effort by Riordan in his latest, Devil Went Down to Austin.
As an author, Riordan is a long way from the quality of Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, or Michael McGarrity but I will continue to read nevertheless.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. I am a huge fan of mysteries, especially mysteries like this one. Rick Riordan is a fine story teller, and he captures the multicultural aspects of contemporary Texas perfectly. The Last King of Texas is an excellent book.
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Format: Hardcover
This was my first Rick Riordan/Tres Navarre book and an enticement for the rest of the series. It has vivid characterizations. It's suspenseful and it captures the unique flavour of San Antonio. The writing style is wryly sublime. I heartily recommend it!
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Format: Paperback
When I read mystery stories, I usually turn to the classics: Holmes, Wimsey, Wolfe. But when I choose a contemporary mystery, I tend to find myself drawn to authors whose stories have a strong sense of place: Margaret Truman in Washington, D.C., for example, or J.A. Jance here in Seattle. Now, I'm pleased to say, I can add San Antonio's Rick Riordan to the list.
Some of my family is in San Antonio, and it's where I went to school, so I found the setting of 'The Last King of Texas' very easy to embrace and understand. Riordan tosses out the names of local streets, landmarks, events, and personalities with an ease that may cause people unfamiliar with San Antonio a little confusion. But that shouldn't distract too much from this well crafted murder mystery.
The story itself is fast paced, and while there is a lot of fightin' and shootin' going on, the scenes are not disturbingly graphic. In fact, one of my main complaints with the story is that our P.I., Tres Navarre, sometimes seemed to have the superhuman qualities of a kung fu movie hero, able to single-handedly dispatch masses of bad guys with his lightning-fast moves. That slight unbelievability, however, did not extend into the story itself -- which, through all its twists and turns, remained believable and true to life. The solution to the mystery did not suggest itself too early, and was ultimately a satisfying payoff. Navarre himself is an attractive and likeable figure, and most of the other major characters, good and evil, were fully drawn.
Mark Twain famously called San Antonio 'one of America's four unique cities.' For anyone familiar with San Antonio, this novel will be an entertaining trip back.
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