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The Last Good Day
 
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The Last Good Day [Kindle Edition]

Peter Blauner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

Lynn Schulman brings her husband and children back to the peaceful New York suburb she escaped after high school to get away from the post 9/11 dangers of city life. But when the headless body of her oldest friend turns up in the river and the cop who investigates turns out to be an old boyfriend still seething at her betrayal of their adolescent romance, her safe haven turns out to be as sinister and threatening as the mean streets she left behind. Mike Fallon hasn't forgotten her--as his own life spirals down into personal failure and professional ruin, he focuses his attention on recapturing the girl who got away and the dreams that went with her. Blauner is a skillful writer who manages with a few quick brushstrokes to capture both the placidly calm exterior of a small suburban town and the dark secrets that seethe beneath it. Good plotting, nicely drawn characters, and a deft hand with the narrative drive this solid thriller to the last page.--Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

You know you're in the 'burbs when a cop's epitaph for a murdered local drug dealer is, "Man, he was an asshole, but he had a beautiful lawn." In his fifth novel, Edgar-winner Blauner (The Intruder, etc.) imagines an idyllic suburb up the Hudson River from Manhattan, full of karate moms and commuter dads; in the shadow of September 11, he peels away the affluent veneer and exposes the roiling class tensions and frustrated ambitions beneath. The decapitated corpse of a local housewife is spotted floating in the water by commuters waiting for the inbound 7:46, including Barry Schulman, counsel for a start-up pharmaceutical company now teetering on the brink. Barry's wife, Lynn, a mother who's had to relegate her passion for photography to a hobby for the kids' sake, was the victim's best friend. To her horror, the investigating officer, Michael Fallon, has had his long-dormant passion for Lynn awakened by the case. Fallon, a struggling blue-collar nth-generation Irish-American cop, has dark secrets to hide concerning his prior involvements with both Lynn and the victim, which in turn necessitates his withholding information from his "former best friend" (now the town's first black police chief) Harold Baltimore so as to keep his prying rival, "a pugnacious Puerto Rican" named Paco Ortiz, from making Fallon the prime suspect. Harold, Lynn, Michael and the victim all went to school together, and the uneasy tensions arising from their uneven rises to various stations in life fuels a dangerously explosive tinderbox of resentment. Readers who can follow Blauner's intricate plot will be well rewarded, but only at the very end-no giveaways here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1719 KB
  • Print Length: 442 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316098736
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (March 29 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S8ESJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #344,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Uncomfortable Truth Feb. 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
With Slow Motion Riot, Blauner reinvented the urban crime novel back when the so-called New Realists were still trying to cop a puff on Elmore Leonard's cigarettes. With his newest book, he stretches into new territory and takes on suburban life in the new century with the same unsparing eye. Unlike some other readers, I felt the 9/11 references were skillfully done and heartfelt, without stooping to sentimentality. And the writing is carefully wrought and richly textured from line to line. Readers looking for phony tough guy heroes and breathless escapism should look elsewhere. This is a fine American crime writer telling uncomfortable truths.
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1.0 out of 5 stars a forgettable mystery, an un-thrilling thriller Feb. 25 2004
Format:Hardcover
The Last Good Day, a tepid less-than-riveting mystery/thriller, is Blauner's unsuccessful attempt at creating a believable tense backdrop of New York suburban life shortly after September 11, 2001. While some parts of the storyline 'hold water', the majority of the novel lays fallow, and unfortunately fails to deliver on almost every level imaginable.

The various not-so-subtle references to 9-11 are not apropos to the plot, and as a result, appear to be a flimsy attempt to draw curious readers possibly scouting for terrorist intrigue. The shallow two-dimensional, and often gutter-mouthed, characters fail to engage the reader, and only highlight the carelessly constructed plot which is neither absorbing or captivating. Give this one a pass. Any redeeming qualities to the novel? The photo on the cover is nice...
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1.0 out of 5 stars trendy, forgettable Nov. 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
Peter Blauner has plugged into the trendy words and behavior of northeastern suburban life circa late September 2001 in his less-than-riveting mystery novel, "The Last Good Day." His extremely unsubtle, knock-you-on-the-head references to 9-11 seem to be a carefully calculated attempt to draw readers into his carelessly crafted tale.

The chief characters, 40-somethings all, immersed in status-conscious consumerism and obsessed with appearing successful, at all costs, failed to engage the interest of this reader. Their "secrets", their long history going back together to high school days, are inferred by readers long before they are slowly "revealed" by the events of the book.
My conclusion? This novel is not worthy of your time; it fails to be absorbing, timely, or relevant, despite the heavy-handed ploys to make it so.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Thanks to the author for two of the more fun days of my life....reading his novel compulsively. Now my husband is reading it and making a lot of the same enjoyment sounds I made while devouring what has to be one of the more entertaining reads around. It's so hard find a literate,
amusing, cohesive thriller with fascinating, fleshed-out characters to boot. I just loathe some of the "best-sellers." even Grisham is mostly shallow. The only good book I've ever read of his is "Runaway Jury." I read that compulsively, too, but these kinds of books are, truly, rare. More from Mr. Blauner, please... Oh - and it is so vivid and dramatic, I hope it 's made into a movie. I thought a lot about which actors would play his characters...I'd be first in line for a ticket.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice touches, but I missed the boat I think... Sept. 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
Blauner's novel has some great touches about modern day life, particularly in the shadow of 9/11 (I finished it the day before the 2 year anniversary so the memories are still heavy) and the characters are often sympathetic (I particularly enjoyed Harold, Paco, and Barry). Blauner creates a geniunely creepy Mike for most of the book. However, I found the ending chapters to be like one of those action picture endings--who lives and dies (I shall not reveal) seems to be driven by drama and not realism. It is a good book, but I don't share the love of it that many readers here seem to have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rocking novel July 26 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A woman moves back to her suburban hometown and finds you really can't go home again. Particularly if your old boyfriend is still living there.
This is really easily one of the best books I read so far this year. For once, the critics are absolutely right. This was much, much more than just another murder mystery. It's a suspenseful social commentary.
I wasn't just entertained, but surprisingly moved at times, especially by the way it brought back memories of the days right after 9/11. A keeper, for sure.
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1.0 out of 5 stars You 've got to be kidding . . . July 24 2003
Format:Hardcover
This was one of the worst books I ever read! The ONLY interesting part was when the guy explained how the book got it's name. The police chief gets shot and the other cops just stand around and let the main character and her husband get the bad guy??? And this stupid woman honestly thinks that if she brings charges against this cop and goes to court to testify against him that her shady past won't be brought up!?! Does she not own a tv set - and how could she possibly move back to town and think he wouldn't still be very angry with her? I was cheering for him when he went after her!!! And, what's with these stupid people accidentally commiting murder then doing something even 'stupider' to cover it up - - Oops, I just killed this person so I'll TAKE HER HOME and dismember her and throw her in the river and use this old can of half-used varnish to weigh her down, and the cops'll never know I did it - that is if some old, old picture of me with a can of varnish in the background doesn't show up!' What a crock! It would take a book to tell just how bad this book was (get it?)
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