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The Last Goodbye [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Reed Arvin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 5 2004

From the hot new suspense writer critics predict will have Grisham fans "switching their allegiance midstream" comes a thrilling tale of love, betrayal and murder set on the mean streets and in the sleek society haunts of Atlanta. . . .

Sleeping with a client's gorgeous girlfriend may have been the gutsiest move in Jack Hammond's formerly booming law career, but it wasn't the smartest. Booted from his elite law firm, Jack now scrapes by as a court-appointed attorney, his client list a revolving door of small-time drug offenders and petty thieves.

When his friend -- a computer whiz and former addict who'd brought his life back from the brink -- is found dead in his apartment, Jack knows something is very wrong. Where the cops see just another overdose, Jack sees a murder. Investigating the case, he learns that his friend was obsessed with a beautiful singer -- who also happens to be half of the most popular power couple in Atlanta.

Talented and privileged, the spellbinding Michelle Sonnier is plagued by secrets. Against his better judgment -- and in a disturbing echo of his past -- Jack is pulled further and further into her world, where he discovers more suspicious deaths, all pointing toward a mysterious cover-up.

The Last Goodbye is a riveting thriller with a thunderously beating heart, a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of love and the burdens of the past.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"As usual, the story begins with a woman crying." So says Atlanta lawyer Jack Hammond in this mesmerizing thriller about a good man caught in a web of bad love and murder. Beautiful client Violeta Ramirez is doing the crying on behalf of her dope-dealer boyfriend when Jack tumbles so hard for her his high-flying legal career is grounded and Violeta ends up dead. Two years later, Jack is working out of his one-man law office fishing for clients at the bottom of the criminal pool when he begins investigating the suspicious overdose death of his old college pal, Doug Townsend. With the help of a local hacker, Nightmare, Jack unlocks Doug's computer and stumbles into a quagmire involving the deaths of eight hepatitis C patients who were all enrolled in an experimental drug trial gone horribly wrong. Doug was also strangely obsessed with beautiful African-American opera singer Michele Sonnier, as is Jack after one look at her photos and a night at the opera. That her husband is the billionaire CEO of a local drug firm with its own hep C drug makes the liaison even more dangerous. After finding the disgraced researcher who headed the botched drug trial, Jack and his lowlife helpers begin to make real headway in solving the case. Even though melancholy, wisecracking Jack is a lawyer, this isn't a legal thriller so much as a knight-in-shining armor tale with the hero cast in the mold of the great Travis McGee. It's not Grisham that Arvin (The Will) should be compared to, but the incomparable John D. MacDonald. Those readers who value intelligence, fine writing and action will find it all in this outstanding novel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Doug Townsend is just another overdose as far as the Atlanta cops are concerned. His friend and lawyer, Jack Hammond, doesn't share the cavalier attitude. His suspicions multiply when he learns that Doug's fatal dosage was delivered intravenously despite a lifelong needle phobia. Jack also learns Doug had an obsessive interest in Michele Sonnier, the hottest star in American opera and the trophy wife of Charles Ralston, founder of Horizn Pharmaceuticals. Jack contacts Sonnier and soon learns her well-hidden secret: Michele grew up in Atlanta's poorest, most notorious housing project and had an illegitimate child, whom she gave up for adoption while still a child herself. Doug was tracking down her daughter for her. Did Ralston's company, about to go public with a well-publicized cure for Parkinson's, get rid of Doug rather than allow him to drag the CEO through a scandal? Jack, himself a man with a regrettable past, enlists the aid of a Fagin's army of borderline miscreants to help Michele and, in the process, discover what Horizn is trying to hide. Arvin's first legal thriller, The Will (2000), generated excellent reviews. His second just might kick him to a whole new level, critically and commercially. He presents love, sex, money, power, and violence in an irresistibly melancholy noir package in which redemption is the motive but hell beckons at every turn. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not Great April 17 2004
Format:Hardcover
While this mystery/thriller is entertaining enough - the plot is not very believable and it fails to live up to the hype generated by reviews here.
Just a quick synopsis of the plot: Jack Hammond is lawyer on the downturn after an indiscretion with a client's wife. From an up and coming lawyer at a prestigious law firm he finds himself working alone and scrambling for the most difficult and least well paying of clients-those who need court appointed attorneys. But he still has his values. His friend, a very down and out Doug Townsend, dies of a drug overdose that seems very suspicious. Jack starts to poke around thinking there isn't something quite right and finds an unusual link between Doug, a practically homeless former drug addict living on the fringe of the ghetto, and Michele Sonnier, a famous, wealthy, opera diva. The plot really thickens when Jack discovers that Sonnier's husband, the CEO of Horizon, a pharmaceutical company with a breakout drug for hepatitis, is soon to go public. And it turns out Doug Townsend was also working for Horizon off the books as a computer hacker. The company he was stealing information from was a potential Horizon competitor where several people in a test study for a better drug for hepatitis died. In the meantime Jack has an affair with Michelle Sonnier as he unravels the most unlikely of conspiracies.
There are two key problems with this novel. First, the plot is implausible, which is a distraction. The second problem is the characters, other than Jack and Michelle Sonnier, are caricatures. The computer hacker Jack befriends to help him out, the ghetto kingpin, the secretary, the CEO of Horizon and his partner, all are very boilerplate characters.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the novel. But I wouldn't recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Epitomizes the contemporary thriller April 12 2004
Format:Hardcover
The contemporary thriller has now been epitomized. Reed Arvin, the talented young author, has delivered a book that stands high and above its contemporary competition for several different reasons. For one, and most importantly, the book has a lot of meat to it. Arvin deals thoughtfully and diligently with a lot of hot-button contemporary issues: race relations, corporate crime, the disparity between the rich and the poor, the modern drug scene, and more. He also delves into explorations of love, lust, and morality. It is hardly hyperbolic to call the novel philosophical -- at least as far as modern writing goes: it certainly doesn't get any better than this. Second, the book avoids most, though not all, of the modern thriller's cliches. As mentioned before, there is more to this book than just the surface fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants plot: there is depth and complexity: it is not just a mere thriller for thrill's sake. A cliched ending is also avoided. For once, with a modern book, the competent reader can read The Last Goodbye without picturing it as an overblown, big-budget Hollywood motion picture: there is enough meat to this book that a lot would be lost in the process of transferring it to celluloid. The book is also well-written and the dialogue is quite funny.
It should be noted that, though the novel's protagonist is a lawyer, this is not a legal thriller. There are very few courtroom scenes, and they are not the focus of the book. The numerous comparisons to Grisham are not applicable; fans of the strict legal genre that he pioneered should look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Goodbye April 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The last Goodbye is Set in Atlanta, it is the story of Jack Hammond, a once-promising young attorney down on his luck after sleeping with the wrong woman. "As usual, the story begins with a woman crying." Jack Hammond in this mesmerizing thriller about a good man caught in a web of bad love and murder. Beautiful client Violeta Ramirez is doing the crying on behalf of her dope-dealer boyfriend when Jack tumbles so hard for her his high-flying legal career is grounded and Violeta ends up dead. Two years later, Jack is working out of his one-man law office fishing for clients at the bottom of the criminal pool when he begins investigating the suspicious overdose death of his old college pal, Doug Townsend. With the help of a local hacker, Nightmare, Jack unlocks Doug's computer and stumbles into a quagmire involving the deaths of eight hepatitis C patients who were all enrolled in an experimental drug trial gone horribly wrong. Doug was also strangely obsessed with beautiful African-American opera singer Michele Sonnier, as is Jack after one look at her photos and a night at the opera. That her husband is the billionaire CEO of a local drug firm with its own heptites C drug makes the liaison even more dangerous. After finding the disgraced researcher who headed the botched drug trial, Jack and his lowlife helpers begin to make real headway in solving the case. Even though melancholy, wisecracking Jack is a lawyer, this isn't a legal thriller so much as a knight-in-shining armor tale with the hero cast in the mold of the great Travis McGee.
The Last Goodbye is a very fast moving yet complex thriller. Although Jack is a lawyer, this is not a legal thriller or courtroom drama.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read - incredibly intelligent novel - wowser .....
I'm not sure what's more amazing - the story of TLG itself or how Arvin has re-created himself since The Will. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Mark Stephen Warren
3.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't Put it Down, But.....
The Last Goodbye is a gripping, compelling read--but I have to say that after finishing it, I felt kind of like "Is that all there is? Read more
Published on April 27 2004 by Elizabeth Hendry
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Cure
I read most of this book while I was up most of the night with the a bit of a flu. If you want to help get through a long night it was a good companion. Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Gerald Swimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars takes on a lot and achieves it
After seeing several press reviews declaring Reed Arvin the NEXT BIG THING (don't ya hate that?) I finally broke down and bought this book. Read more
Published on April 12 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars In need of stern subeditor
Disclosure: I was sent this book by Harper Collins to review for free, most likely as I happen to have a "Top 1000 reviewer" mark by my name. Read more
Published on April 6 2004 by Olly Buxton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Goodbye
The Last Goodbye is a very fast moving yet complex thriller. Although Jack is a lawyer, this is not a legal thriller or courtroom drama. Read more
Published on April 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Goodbye
The Last Goodbye is a very fast moving yet complex thriller. Although Jack is a lawyer, this is not a legal thriller or courtroom drama. Read more
Published on April 5 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A first hello to a gifted author
I picked up this book after reading about the author in a magazine. This is his third novel ("The Will" and "Wind in the Wheat" are the others), but it's the... Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Brian Reaves
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Say 'Goodbye'
Given the great reviews of "The Last Goodbye", which include the coronation of Reed Arvin as the next Grisham, this was a book I was really anxious to read - a novel I really... Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by Gary Griffiths
3.0 out of 5 stars I'll be back
A new hero, who keeps it interesting, will see me again. A passable plot, with some new viewpoints, make it worthwhile.
Published on March 15 2004 by John Bowes
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