Book review: 'The Last Act' is a compelling thriller

  • "The Last Act," a novel by Brad Parks.

    "The Last Act," a novel by Brad Parks. Associated Press/Dutton

 
By Jeff Ayers
Associated Press
Posted3/24/2019 7:26 AM

"The Last Act: A Novel" by Brad Parks; Dutton; 384 pages

Tommy Jump has worked in theater for a while, but with a fiancee who is pregnant, he realizes that he has to get a real job to generate a steady income. A friend Tommy hasn't seen in years approaches him with a lucrative job offer. Now working for the FBI, his friend offers him a lot of money to take on an alias and a six-month sentence in a minimum security prison. The FBI wants information from a banker who is an inmate there, and they want Jump to become friendly with him and learn where he is hiding incriminating documents that are tied to a deadly Mexican cartel. Jump discusses it with his fiancee, and since the money would be a great way to start his new life, he agrees to the deal.

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His stint starts off badly, and it gets worse as he learns that his mission is harder than he imagined, and the information he's trying to get is also wanted by people willing to kill to get it.

Parks takes on the worlds of white-collar crime, bank fraud and the drug war in "The Last Act." The heroes and villains shine, and the writing makes the narrative believable and intense. This story is definitely not the author's last act, and it solidifies the prestige and accolades Parks' has achieved. Prepare to be surprised and astonished.

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