Robin Burcell has worked as a cop, hostage negotiator, and as an FBI-trained forensic artist. She's also the author of award-winning thrillers. Now she uses that unparalleled experience to continue Carolyn Weston's groundbreaking series of books, which were the basis for the hit TV show The Streets of San Francisco.
Sgt. Al Krug and his younger, college-educated partner Casey Kellog are investigating a string of strangulation killings when another victim is found at the Presidio...but a surprising, violent incident at the crime scene makes them wonder if everything is what it seems. The two mismatched cops, with sharply conflicting approaches to detective work, are under intense pressure to get results. It's a race-against-the-clock investigation that propels them into the deadly intersection of politics, real estate, media and vice...the fertile, fog-shrouded killing field of a ruthless murderer.
"Robin Burcell has expertly updated the Krug & Kellogg series for old and new readers alike. She knows her stuff and puts it to good use in this entertaining and authentic police procedural." (Alafair Burke, New York Times best-selling author of All Day and a Night)
"A whip-smart, fast-paced tale with more twists and turns than a San Francisco street, The Last Good Place is a terrific read. Robin Burcell is a true pro!" (Alison Gaylin, USA Today best-selling author)
"Burcell brilliantly revisits Weston's cop duo and delivers a modern, dark, twisting tale of murder and deception with a puzzle that will keep you guessing until the end." (Jamie Freveletti, author of Robert Ludlum's The Geneva Strategy)
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"Be careful what you wish for."
Young Casey Kellogg is ambitious. Already a homicide detective at an unprecedented young age, he has studied hard for his lieutenant's badge, passing the examination easily and is scheduled for the interview soon. He will be competing against much more experienced officers so really wants to prove himself by solving a high profile case - like that of the Landmark Strangler. And it seems like luck is favouring him when another victim is found close by the Golden Gate Bridge.
Trudy and Marcie had been neighbours and friends for a long time and often ran together in the morning. But not this day, and now one of them was dead, strangled. She, her husband and the victim's spouse are understandably upset. It looks like the Strangler had struck again and it's just possible that, through this death, the police have caught him. But interviews have to be made, statements taken and, as always, Casey is impressed by the easy technique of his partner and mentor, Al, in gaining the trust and responses from those he speaks with. Unlike Casey, Al is not P.C., seems to act more on instinct and he gets results when more modern technics seem to fail.
This is an entertaining 'partnership' police procedural story: the old timer, easy and instinctive, working with the enthusiastic but still naïve younger man, looking to make a name for himself. And it works. The murder they are first investigating segues into so much more and the book is packed with incidents, investigations, twists and turns. The characterisations are very well done, not only for the two main protagonist but for almost everyone appearing, giving a realistic alive presence throughout. A little joshing between the cops in conversation and very visual in the brief descriptions of places and people, but not a blood and gore focus. Instead it is the living, not the dead, who take centre place.
The book is well narrated by Travis Baldree, his very pleasant-on-the-ear reading perfectly mirroring the text in pace and emotion. The dialogue of the characters is superb, each being given a distinctive and appropriately personalised voice, which further brings them to life for the listener. An example of best pairing of author and narrator.
The time spent listening to this excellent detective mystery passed all too quickly for me and I will most definitely be looking forward to more from author, Robin Burcell, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. My deep thanks, therefore, to the rights holder who freely gifted me my copy of The Last Good Place, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. It was a real pleasure to hear and a book I have no hesitation in recommending to all who enjoy good detective stories where the focus is on character and procedural rather than anatomical dissection. Well worth reading.
- Norma Miles