Last Place Mass Market Paperback – Aug 7 2003
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Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan knows what to do with a jerk who prowls the Internet looking for love in all the wrong places: pretend to be smitten, slip one of his own date-rape drugs into his drink, cover him with depilatory cream, and leave him in a public place so he'll be too ashamed to do it again. It's hard to follow an opening chapter like that, but Lippman manages it nicely, putting her smart-mouth series sleuth in court-ordered anger-management counseling. The sessions with her shrink spur a most uncharacteristic-for Tess--reflection on five cold-case homicides she's investigating for a foundation lobbying for increased funding for domestic abuse programs. They don't seem to be connected, but with the help of the retired Toll Facilities cop who discovered the head of one of the victims in the middle of his bridge, Tess discovers a serial killer no one even knew existed--until he made Tess his next target. This is the seventh outing in a lively, original series that keeps getting better and better. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Favors for friends don't always turn out as expected, Tess Monagham learns in this harrowing encounter with obsession involving her own past. At the urging of best friend Whitney Talbot, Tess agrees to research how police inexperienced with murder cases handle domestic-violence-related investigations. Delving into the specifics of the five deaths she's been assigned, Tess begins to sense that a simple review of the facts won't suffice and that these aren't isolated incidents. Toll-facility cop Carl Dewitt, who found one victim's head on the roadway of a bridge and has become obsessed with that case, convinces her that his detailed knowledge and tenacity can help. The pair cover a lot of ground, from northern Maryland to Virginia, from Baltimore to the Eastern Shore to a remote island where simple beauty can't sustain young people and the aging population keeps its secrets. In the process, Tess confronts some old demons, including a figure who has watched for years as she rows alone in Baltimore Harbor. He knows all about her and is biding his time. Lippman narrows her circle, drawing predator and victim closer. She contrasts the methods of the privileged with the ways ordinary folk must cope and how disastrous the results can be when the monstrous invades their lives.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tess meets up with an unlikely ally--a former Toll Facilities cop, Carl Dewitt, who is obsessed with one of the murders. When they compare notes, they realize they're dealing with an extraordinarily clever serial killer--and that Tess is his real target, but for an unknown reason.
As Tess and Carl investigate, sometimes cooperating with the state police, sometimes defying it, they start to realize that they're following a script only the killer knows, and he's always one step ahead of them. As she struggles with the fear and the mind games, Tess is also battling her own demons, forced on her by a court-ordered anger-management psychiatrist.
Author Laura Lippman's novel has that rare combination of character, action, intellectual puzzle and flashes of humor that blend for a first-rate mystery. This is not a feel-good book, though. It made me a little sad.
Tess is a private investigator with a past that haunts her. Her ex-boyfriend was killed years prior and she continues to suffer from occasional nightmares, reliving his death.
She has issues with anger management, which are portrayed quite well when she gets a little revenge on a potential child molester. She is arrested and sentenced to anger management counseling.
Tess's wealthy friend, Whitney, offers her a private investigator assignment which involves reviewing old, unsolved domestic abuse murder cases in order to help bring about lobbying for funding and training for small town cops handling domestic abuse situations. Whitney is part of a group of several non profit foundations that have joined together and are in search of ways to reduce the number of domestic-violence homicides in their state. Though Tess's old archenemy, Luisa O'Neal, is somewhat involved in the group, Tess accepts the assignment with the understanding that Luisa is not an active member of the board.
There is a list of five unsolved cases for Tess to investigate. She was not hired to search for the killer but rather to check into the specifics of the police investigations on each file.
Initially, the cases do not seem connected but then Tess begins to question whether or not they are in some way. She always begins to wonder if Luisa O'Neal had more involvement in this project than Tess was told about, or anyone was told, for that matter. Soon Tess is questioning everything and everyone looking for the link.Read more ›
So Tess goes to work, interrupting it only shortly to spend time with her boyfriend Crow. At first, nothing outrageous happens. She then teams up with retired Toll Road Police Officer Carl Dewitt.
The story is interrupted occasionally by the voice of the killer.
There just is no substitute for that vision thing when you want to reach conclusions that are not based on any known fact. And what is missing here is the kitchen sink. But then the author got a big medal from the mayor of Baltimore for writing so much about his city.
And the perpetrator became a mass murderer because he used to love Tess Monaghan. Go figure.
So Tess gets arrested and goes before a judge. It is a kind of vigilante-justice situation, where her "victim" was more wrong than she. Still, Tess is sentenced to a six-month course in anger management with a shrink. These therapy sessions run in counterpoint to the main plot, a sort of ongoing character commentary that could easily have been overdone. A lesser author wouldn't have been able to resist. But for Lippman it's simply there, a part of this private investigator's life. For Tess, it is certainly not the most important part and insights are noted, tucked away in case they're needed later. She grows but it's no big deal --- she just keeps on keeping on.
That first bad guy --- the one who managed to turn himself into a victim --- may have been merely a nuisance, but there's a real sicko out there. In fact, some of the most outstanding writing in THE LAST PLACE is in sections that show us his view of the world. It's warped but atmospheric; he's twisted, poisoned by longing --- and the object of his longing is Tess Monaghan. She will not know this until very late in the book, but we know and we fear for her.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I've read all but one of the Tess series and think this is the best yet. The story is engrossing; a real page turner. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004 by Sabrina
The novel starts out with an interesting prelude to the main story when Tess and her friend Whitney defoliate a would be rapist. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2003 by Fred Camfield
A friend who is a reviewer thought I might like this series, and I started with the most recent. Go figure. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2003
I have been a fan of Laura Lippmann's books since Baltimore Blues. I thought this book was very well written. I was quickly sucked in by the plot and character development. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2002 by John D. Busteed
Lippman is obviously becoming more skilled at grabbing the reader and holding him or her in suspense. I loved the early Tess novels for their lacksidasical pace. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2002