|Plot Summary of Last To Die|
The book begins in the bedroom of a 4 year-old girl, who convinces her mother to read her a story. She also convinces her to check for monsters outisde her window. Of course, Sally (the mother) doesn't believe there is anyone there, but has a niggling feeling about being watched. To our dismay, a stranger jumps out of the closet, stabbing Sally and killing her daughter.
Five years later, Sally has married a millionaire and is completely unhappy. Whether it is from her first broken marriage or her daughter's death, she is miserable beyond repair. Thus, she plots a meeting with a hired assassin to convince him to kill her for money. Two weeks later, Sally is shot while driving under a bridge in a bad part of town, and is killed.
Tatum, the man who was originally contacted by Sally to kill her, finds he has been named in her will and is at a complete loss as to why, He hires Jack Styweck (the lawyer who saved his brother from the death penalty) to represent him at this meeting. To everyone's shock, there are 6 people named in the will, of which none are relatives of the deceased) and they each have their chance to gain her 46 million dollars, by being the last person living from all six.
No one knows who has killed Sally, and it's taking all the energy that Tatum has to convince his lawyer and his brother Theo that he did not accept the request from her. And since it wasn't Tatum who killed her, then who was it? Jack and Theo decide to fly to Africa to visit Sally's only living relative, her sister Rene, to see if he can dig up any answers.
It is up to Jack to try and fill in the missing pieces on this case, while other people named in the will are fending off requests and demands to drop out of the running for the millions of dollars. Some of these requests include threats of physical violence to them and their families.
This synopsis report prepared by Jenn
Harper Collins, July 2003, 23.95, 369 pp.
Sally Fenning was being stalked but she never told the police and it is this man who she believes broke into her home, knifed her and killed her daughter. The police never apprehended the killer and Sally's marriage fell apart under the weight of guilt. She married an older man and after two years according to the prenuptial agreement, she was worth forty-six million dollars.
One day while stopping at an intersection, Sally is murdered. Her will names six potential heirs: her ex-husband, his divorce lawyer, a reporter, a former hitman, a prosecutor and the stalker. The former hitman Tatum Knight wants the best friend of his brother, lawyer Jack Swyteck, to represent him because just before she died Sally tried to hire him to kill her. As Jack protects his client's interests, someone kills the heirs one by one because according to the turns of the will, the last person living inherits everything.
James Grippando's version of Agatha Christie's And Than There Were None is an action packed thriller. Readers won't know who the killer is until the author chooses to reveal it because there are so many suspects with forty-six million motives. There is no honor among thieves as the potential heirs play dirty tricks and one even murders the competition. LAST TO DIE shows how far people will go to inherit a fortune which is a sad indictment on the heirs selling their souls as the author intended it to be. This haunting thriller will long be remembered because the stalker, killer, and heir turn out to be the one person it seems incapable of killing Sally's daughter.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Last To Die|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Murder of certain profession?
- "All in the family" murder
Kind of investigator
- skilled citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- a lawyer creature
Part of Africa:
- Black Africa
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
- very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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