Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry has been reading The Last Detective by Brian Cohn
The Last Detective by Brian Cohn
4 out of 5 stars
Before the alien invasion, Adrian Grace was a cop. Then the ‘slicks’ arrived, and their word is law. Two years later, Adrian is ekeing out a dreary existence in a motel, with his family far away in Boston. A group of the city dwellers work for the Authority, and police the population according to the rules of the slicks. Food is short, there is little fuel, and life is one of darkness and danger, with the Authority herding chosen people off to labour camps from which nobody ever returns. But there is revolution in the air.
Then Grace is asked to solve the murder of one of the slicks. In an action-packed plot taking place over a period of just a few days, he is drawn into a labyrinth of corruption, lies, dubious loyalties and misplaced assumptions about those with whom he comes into contact.
Brian Cohn has created a compelling dystopian world, with lots of evocative detail and ponderings on life, the universe and everything. Grace makes for a likeable and interesting first person narrative, in turn depressive, philosophical, cynical and dryly humorous; there are some amusing touches, such as the daily game of Russian roulette with his food – the tins are not labelled. He always hopes it won’t be dog food. Sometimes it is.
I did enjoy this book, and love Cohn’s writing style, but I wished for a little more rounding out of the circumstances ~ we are taken from the day of the alien landing (in the prologue), to two years later, only ever seeing hints about what happened in between. I wanted to know how the slicks took over, who they were, why they arrived, how the society broke down. And what happened in the labour camps. The darkness of the city is illustrated beautifully, but as the novel concentrates almost solely on the situation in which Grace finds himself, I was left with lots of unanswered questions.
To sum up: it worked well as detective/mystery/conspiracy novel, less so as a sci-fi/post apocalyptic, which was the aspect that attracted me. I’d definitely read something else by this author, though.
It’s been two years since the invasion.
Two years since the slicks came to our planet and herded humanity together like cattle, placing us under constant watch in the few cities that remain. The lucky ones are left to their own devices. The unlucky few are rounded up and carted off to labor camps to face an unknown fate.
Former homicide detective Adrian Grace was cut off from his family, but has somehow managed to survive. When one of the slicks is murdered, they ask him to find the killer. He reluctantly agrees, and in the course of his investigation witnesses the best, and the worst, that humanity has to offer: a plot to escape the labor camps; a pending war between an in-your-face councilwoman and the corrupt city mayor; and a priest who claims to have befriended the dead alien. But worst of all, he stumbles onto a conspiracy that puts the fate of the entire city in jeopardy. In the end, Detective Grace discovers that the killer might just be the last person he would have suspected.
A story about betrayal, redemption, faith, fear, and hope, The Last Detective is a thrilling look at what happens to humanity when our world crumbles around us.
About the author
Brian is an ER doctor practicing in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives with his beautiful wife and their two rambunctious children. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama where he grew up loving to read. His passion for books continued through his college career at the UNC-Chapel Hill, and traveled with him back to Alabama where he attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He moved to St. Louis for residency training, met his wife, and fell in love with both her and the city itself. He has been practicing emergency medicine for over a decade and loves helping people every day, but turned to writing as a creative outlet.
A self-professed nerd, Brian has long enjoyed everything science fiction, from books to TV and movies. He is also a huge fan of great mysteries and thrillers, and is a sucker for a surprising plot twist. He writes the kind of books that he would want to read, reflecting a deep-seated curiosity about what motivates people to do the things they do.
When he’s not busy writing and taking care of patients, Brian loves to run, play with his children, and spend quiet time watching TV with his wife. If he can only figure out how to do all three things at once, he’ll finally have it made.