- You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Cole's Last Chance Paperback – Feb 10 2015
|New from||Used from|
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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 Amazon.com and other booksellers. His website, which lists and describes the novels as well as imparting his singular views on writing, is e-hooper.com.
By CAROL McGRAW
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.