By Harry Dolan
Berkley Trade Paperback
Oct. 7, 2014
In Harry Dolan’s edgy mystery, “The Last Dead Girl,” betrayal pulls David Malone away from his fiancee, Sophie, onto a dark road outside of Rome, New York. He meets a young woman in the rain and senses something haunting about her as they watch a stunned deer run off after a car accident.
Their chance meeting doesn’t end as David, a house inspector, and Jana Fletcher, a law student, are drawn together, perhaps by fate, but more likely by justice. They have ten days before the unthinkable happens. David finds Jana dead in her home. Being the last person with her, David is interrogated by Detective Frank Moretti.
With each new character, the story expands into a complicated list of possible suspects and the one woman in the middle of it all: Jana. Harry leads us through the questionable guilt of a husband who was imprisoned for killing his wife. But did he? That’s what Jana was researching. Two cousins raised by their grandfather who have a fascination with death, using women for their own pleasure and financial gain and a middle aged man who crosses the line. Lots of twists, interesting characters, and clever clues.
This is an intelligent, thinking outside-of-the-box, not governed by any sense of order or formula, novel. If you can only read a book written with a sense of constant order, you might not be able to follow this one. If you are an open-minded reader who can handle jumping from the past to the present, you’ll love this book. It’s dark, it teases you with the facts, but doesn’t leave you hanging like most novels. I really couldn’t put the book down. The description, the disregard for the welfare of others, draws you into the storyline and you hang on for the ride. It isn’t a smooth as silk mystery. It’s darn right nasty, probably more true to life than most mysteries. This book would make a good movie. It’s not for everybody, but I’m glad I read it.
Five crows out of five
November 23, 2014
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