|Plot Summary of Last Things|
St. Martin's, July 2003, 24.95, 352 pp.
Father Roger Dowling, the priest of St. Hilary's church in Fox River, Illinois, is rather shocked when Eleanor Wygnant who is not a member of his congregation, asks him to stop Jessica Bernardo from writing a book about her family. Realizing that Jessica's doings are not his concerns, he refuses to talk to the woman. The Bernardos are going through a difficult time of it right now with the patriarch of the family hospitalized and not expected to survive.
His son Raymond, who he hasn't seen in a decade, returns home knowing that his father despises his for leaving the priesthood and running away to California with a woman he later marries. Eleanor is worried that once Raymond's father dies, the love letter she wrote him during an affair will become public and hurt her sister-in-law. Raymond's younger brother Andrew, a college teacher with tenure is being held in jail on a homicide charge. Father Dowling doesn't think Andrew is guilty and sets about to prove it.
LAST THINGS is a very entertaining amateur sleuth novel starring a protagonist who is so likable readers will feel an immediate bond with him. Much of this novel is a relationship drama starring the Bernardo family and it is only the last quarter when the mystery really takes off. In fact, this is one Father Dowling mystery in which the popular priest plays a secondary albeit important role. Ralph McInerny has written another pleasing who done it.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Last Things|
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?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards family/friends
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- religious figure
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
Use our site!
Search for your favorite town
Trade Links with Us!
Most recent discussions:
General Book Talk
Book writing discussion
Off-topic message board
West Side Story
Aline Countess of Romanones
Mark C. Ross
David R. Palmer
Graham D. Watson
More message boards
Our Chief Librarian