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Cole's Last Chance Paperback – Feb 10 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Feb. 10 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1507585632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1507585634
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 517 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Product Description

About the Author

Al Hooper’s published fiction includes the Adam Cole novel Flynn’s Last Stand, which projects screen legend Errol Flynn’s final days against a backdrop of extortion and murder; Martial Law in Yakima, a crime thriller with a martial arts theme, and Hidden Valley, a dinosaur-centric suspense tale for readers aged 10 to 90. Hooper lives in Seattle, Washington, because of the overcast skies. “They’re easy on the eyes and good for writing,” he says. His website is E-HOOPER.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A great read! Engaging dialogue reminiscent of Robert B. Parker novels. Couldn't put it down the last third of the book as the action builds and the plot comes together. For anyone who knows Vancouver, the description of locale was bang on, as was the capturing of the spirit of the time (Vietnam war, draft dodgers, etc.). Adam Cole is a likeable character, easy to identify with and root for. After reading Flynn's Last Stand and now this one, can't wait for the next one!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98d2d81c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98bad7b0) out of 5 stars A great read! Engaging dialogue reminiscent of Robert B April 21 2015
By LDimos - Published on
Format: Paperback
A great read! Engaging dialogue reminiscent of Robert B. Parker novels. Couldn't put it down the last third of the book as the action builds and the plot comes together. For anyone who knows Vancouver, the description of locale was bang on, as was the capturing of the spirit of the time (Vietnam war, draft dodgers, etc.). Adam Cole is a likeable character, easy to identify with and root for. After reading Flynn's Last Stand and now this one, can't wait for the next one!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98bbae7c) out of 5 stars Edge of your seat, page turner! Highly recommended. Sept. 9 2015
By Sheila K. Michaels - Published on
Format: Paperback
Adam Cole has a way of getting into nail-biting, life and death situations with reprehensible individuals. Possibly, because of his years of martial arts training with Bruce Lee and his one-step-ahead-of-you friend, Whipper Billy, Adam felt confident enough to take a walk in the dark in Stanley Park one night with a couple of thugs. The story takes place in beautiful Vancouver, Canada during 1967 while the Vietnam War was going on. I learned more about the Vietnam War, Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, and the newspaper business then I ever knew. There was a great combination between non-fictional and fictional characters to make the story so believable that I went to Bruce Lee’s grave site at Lake View Cemetery to see it for myself. Reconnecting with Adam’s former co-workers from the defunct Vancouver News-Herald was fun too, tying up loose ends from the preceding book, Flynn’s Last Stand. This was another great read with excellent research done on Error Flynn’s sad life. I’m looking forward to the next installment of the further adventures and love life of Adam Cole. I’m wondering if Adam and Jason will be husbands-in-law a second time around? I’d like to meet up with Adam and Amy to discuss future wedding plans! By the way, how large did Herman, the Bengal cat, get anyway?
HASH(0x98bbd324) out of 5 stars CRIME NOVEL A PAGE-TURNER Dec 23 2015
By June H. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(Paul Archipley is the publisher of a three-newspaper chain called Beacon Newspapers in Western Washington. His review of “Cole’s Last Chance” appeared in all three newspapers.)

By Paul Archipley | Dec 21, 2015

Fans of crime novels appreciate writers who understand the power of character, place and plot, and are able to mix the right proportions of those ingredients when cooking up a page-turner.
Readers will discover a tasty recipe in “Cole’s Last Chance,” the latest offering from local novelist Al Hooper. Hooper, well known to long-time Beacon readers as its former editor, has not allowed his command of the written word to go fallow since exiting his regular newspaper gig.
Instead, he has turned his obvious love of crime novels and journalism into a new outlet for his well-honed ability to write crisp, active verse that keeps readers engaged and eager for more.
“Cole’s Last Chance,” a sequel to Hooper’s 2012 novel, “Flynn’s Last Stand,” features journalist Adam Cole, who thinks, talks and writes like a scribe who knows his craft and has that newspaperman’s eye for the story behind the story. If readers didn’t already know Hooper’s background, they might suspect he had some ink running through his veins.
“Last Chance” takes place – where else? – in the Great Northwest, in this case, Vancouver, B.C., during the turbulent Vietnam War era when some of America’s young men said a very loud “No!” to military service, and instead escaped to Canada where they often remained active in the anti-war cause.
Cole is an American exile who owns a one-man, barely-breathing business as an “editorial consultant,” (Hooper calls it “code for unemployed journalist.”), but also picking up a few bucks as a columnist for an alternative newspaper, the Vancouver Underground. Beacon readers will recognize the column’s title, City Lights, which was the same title Hooper used for his own Edmonds column back in the day.
The story begins when a pair of suspect characters walk into Cole’s office, looking for help in locating Jed Harris, an American draft dodger who has been a leading voice in the anti-war movement. Of course, they aren’t who they claim to be.
It takes most of the book to figure out who they really are, as well as other characters Hooper introduces while the plot thickens, along with plot twists, a romantic interest, a side story (or is it?) involving Cole’s work with martial arts great Bruce Lee and, of course, as the bodies begin to pile up.
Hooper proves adept at some of the best traits of good mystery writers: Like Dashiell Hammett, Hooper’s prose is unsentimental and journalistic, with moral judgments left to the reader; his character, Adam Cole, is tough but honest and a little bit sentimental, like Raymond Chandler’s famous detective, Philip Marlowe; and like author Tony Hillerman, who also utilized a journalism background to craft gripping crime novels, Hooper is deft at painting scenes that give structure to his unfolding story.
There’s a little of Charles Dickens or J.K. Rowling in Hooper’s work, too, with character names like Whipper Billy Walker, an aging pro wrestler, and Detective Calderon, a mean and dirty cop.
When Hooper does delve more deeply into his cast, he churns out tight, clean prose that one would expect from a well-trained journalist. For instance, he says of Marti, a secretary Cole shares with Whipper Billy: ”She was over 50 and still a knockout. Sleek and slim, brilliant red hair, nifty eyeliner. She rarely went a day without being hit on by some Troy Donahue wanna-be, whom she dealt with as deftly as she handled her IBM keyboard.”
Clever names, taut prose, character development and scene setting aside, it’s plot that keeps readers turning the page, and Hooper delivers.
All four of Hooper’s novels are available through and other booksellers. His website, which lists and describes the novels as well as imparting his singular views on writing, is
HASH(0x98bb8b94) out of 5 stars VIETNAM, BAD COPS AND ROMANCE Aug. 19 2015
By A. Hooper - Published on
Format: Paperback
(Carol McGraw is a journalist and freelance writer who won numerous awards while with the Los Angeles Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other prestigious newspapers. She currently resides in Colorado Springs, where her projects include a genealogical history of her family tree.)


Wow! Just came up for air after reading Flynn’s Last Stand and Cole’s Last Chance.
Loved the writing, loved the plots – weaving together Vietnam and Bruce Lee and Gung fu; and Errol Flynn and newspapering, bad cops and romance and never knowing what’s going to happen next.
I loved Whipper Billy (even the name) and Black Cloud and the other newspaper characters right out of a real newsroom. All such believable characters.
The sense of place regarding the newsroom was amazing: night city editor, crotchety news desk, the sports guys. And things I hadn’t thought of in years right down to the smallest details – like the dupe spikes, for heaven’s sake. (They got rid of them at one paper I worked for, can’t remember which, when OSHA feared we would kill ourselves on them.)
The sense of the era is great … all those songs and products (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by The Platters is still my all-time favorite).
Bright dialogue, great humor, and all the droll and ironic asides (“Some questions answer themselves. Does a housecat pee indoors?) Herman the cat was a nice touch.
I was a bit weepy at the end of Cole’s Last Chance when Adam went to visit Bruce Lee’s grave. What a great scene. And I didn’t know about the circumstances of Errol Flynn’s death until reading Flynn’s Last Chance.
Aside from the pleasure of the writing, I learned a lot I didn’t know before.

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