Review: The Last Night by Harvey Church

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☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆


What It’s About:

The last night Ethan saw his wife, she climbed into an ambulance. Except that ambulance never took her to the ER. In fact, according to Chicago EMS, an ambulance was never dispatched to his address. Not that night, not ever.

Seven and a half years later, when Ethan learns that one of the medics from that night is now dead, his investigation into what happened to his wife comes back to life. Except now, with a solid starting point, he starts to uncover a truth he might soon wish he never knew.

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My Thoughts:

A cold case becomes white-hot when the last people who last saw Raleigh Vernon alive start dying. Harvey Church’s latest mystery, The Last Night, hooked me from the start.  This page-turner of a mystery again features Detective Mike Klein.  The tough, near-retirement FBI agent is back asking tough questions and pushing for the answers.

I like Mike Klein as a character even though I’m still not convinced he is a good guy.  Is he just trying to do his job or is he a player in an elaborate conspiracy? Poor Ethan Vernon is still devastated by the loss of his wife over seven years ago.  His devotion and sorrow are heart wrenching.  His narration is sometimes empathetic and at other times questionable.  Toward the end, neither the character nor I were absolutely convinced of his sanity.  Raleigh, the missing wife, is hard to like.  We learn of her only through Ethan’s reminiscing.  He remembers their love as well as her violent, angry outbursts.

While a serious mystery, Mr. Church has infused his wry sense of humor in his lead character’s inner thoughts.  That humor brings a needed respite from the intensity of the story.  The Last Night is filled with red herrings and perfectly paced reveals.  The intrigue is complex and interesting, and the story tension builds steadily up to the zenith.  The Last Night is unique and creative in its premise, and Mr. Church’s attention to detail adds richness to this original thriller. Bravo Mr. Church!

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