Charlie Slater is sixty - the age limit for active police work. Lately, he’s been a glorified receptionist for the deputy chief. But then a Toronto lawyer is murdered, and the prime suspect is a prostitute in a pair of silver boots.
The case doesn’t ignite any interest until high-powered lawyer Calvin Gregson shows up, supposedly on Flora’s behalf, insisting the police solve the case quietly. Deputy Mackenzie figures the assignment will keep Salter temporarily occupied, and puts him on the case with a young Scotsman new to the force and city.
Salter is thrilled. As he searches, he meets the law profession’s elite and, among others, the victim’s sister, MPP Flora Lucas. But it’s the lawyer’s book group that brings Salter the clues he needs to solve the case - and to discover why Gregson is so eager to wrap the case up quickly and quietly.
Eric Wright is best known for his Charlie Salter Mysteries. He was recently short-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize for his memoir Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man, for an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, and for an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. In addition to winning four Arthur Ellis Awards (two for Best Novel, two for Best Short Story), he also received the John Creasy Award for the Best First Crime Novel published in England. Eric lives and writes in Toronto.
Wrights book just offers mystery-lovers one more reason to snuggle up with the bedside light on, immersed in a well-crafted tale.
This is a neat old-fashioned type of tale that shows detective novels need not rely on DNA testing, excessive violence and high body counts to challenge and entertain.
For longtime fans of Wrights work, theres no classier act than his Charlie Salter series.
As always, Wrights style is as smooth as silk. This is a great last hand for a fine creation.
In The Last Hand Salter and Wright depart in very close to their top form in one of crime fictions most absorbing and rewarding series.
The Last Hand is an excellent novel, but one expects nothing less from Mr. Wright. The plot is watertight, and a cast of strong characters, both familiar and new, populates the pages.
[The Last Hand] has an intricate plot involving politics, sex, journalism, and the law. What more could you ask for?
Charlie Salters last hand is a strong one.