The opening of this book starts the reader out with the catalyst that changes the life of Jack Hammond. One young woman by the name of Violeta Ramirez walks into Jack Hammond's law office in a very prestigious law firm in Atlanta and asks for his help in getting her boy friend out of jail. What happens when he takes this project on seems to shape Jack's life.
Jack Hammond risks his life and career to help find the murderer of an old college friend that he has defended on drug charges and even though he seems to be a person you wouldn't like to know, Jack tries to find the truth.
This report prepared by Connie Rutter
HarperCollins, Feb 2004, 23.95, 352 pp.
In the Buckhead law offices of Carthy, Williams, and Douglas, Violeta Ramirez weeps as Atlanta attorney Jack Hammond represents her drug dealing boyfriend Caliz held in the Fulton County jail. Jack is attracted to his female client, but hates her arrogant lover. Nothing goes right on this case in which Jack uses his wrong head to think with as Violeta and his legal career both end up dead.
Two years later, Jack's clients are beneath the lowest rung of the criminal food chain. However, though he barely ekes out a living, Jack investigates the suspicious death of old friend Doug Townsend. Hacker pal breaks into Doug's computer files and finds certain important documents dealing with the deaths of hepatitis C patients involved in an experimental drug trial. Doug also obsesses over an African-American opera singer, which Jack understands as he takes one look at her picture and fixates too. Still Jack keeps digging with his only help coming from the dregs that society drops as statistical outliers outside the numbers that prove the economy is improving.
In spite of the protagonist's profession, the powerful THE LAST GOODBYE is an investigative tale that is oceans away from a legal thriller. Anyone who thinks otherwise don't know Jack is in the dumps, still wondering how far one can fall, but not grasping the physics of life that he can drop even further as shown by his investigative team. The story line is filled with sarcastic side comments mostly by Jack who is trying to redeem himself with this case. Fans of urban noir tales will appreciate this strong trek down the mean streets of Atlanta.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner