The Last Goodbye Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Last Goodbye

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.
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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.

The review of this Book prepared by Connie Rutter

HarperCollins, Feb 2004, 23.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0060555513

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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Last Goodbye

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 15%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 25%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very humorous    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues    -   Moderately Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70%    -   80% Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Legal Thriller    -   Yes Legal Plotlets    -   finding out whether someone is really guilty Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   biology/medical Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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