Tonight I Said Goodbye Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Tonight I Said Goodbye

St. Martin's, Sep 2004, 21.95, 275 pp.
ISBN: 0312332459

In the Cleveland suburb of West Olmsted, John Weston hires private investigators Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard to learn who killed his son Wayne and what happened to his missing daughter-in-law Julie and five year old granddaughter Betsy. The police suspect a murder-suicide though they have not found two of the corpses while the media insist that Wayne killed his wife and child. John insists he just saw Wayne who was too contented to suddenly within forty-eight hours commit the horrors the press assert he did.
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Though reluctant to get in the middle of an on-going official investigation, Lincoln accepts the case for a larger than normal fee. As he and his partner investigate an intriguing money trail that leads to gambling and South Carolina, several divergent parties threaten to kill the two sleuths if they do not drop the case; others try to hit home runs using the heads of Lincoln and Joe as baseballs. Still the increasingly dogmatic detectives dig deeper.

The dual mysteries of murder and missing people are cleverly handled so that readers accompany the sleuths as they follow the clues and antagonists in turn pursue them. The suspense increases by the moment with threats to harm or kill Perry and Pritchard if they fail to back off. Although an excellent investigative plot, the key that supports why TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE won the 2003 St. Martin's Press Best First PI Novel award is the cast. Lincoln especially is fully developed but the prime support players including Joe, the deceased and his family, some media and the police. Michael Kortya makes an impressive debut.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Tonight I Said Goodbye

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% 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?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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