Last Snow (Jack McClure Series #2)

( 59 )

Overview

New York Times bestselling sensation Eric Van Lustbader created the legendary Nicholas Linnear of The Ninja and brought Jason Bourne into the twenty-first century. Last year, in First Daughter, Lustbader introduced street-smart ATF agent Jack McClure, who saved the President’s daughter from a criminal mastermind.

When an American senator who is supposed to be in the Ukraine turns up dead on the island of Capri, the President asks McClure to investigate. Jack sets out from Moscow...

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Overview

New York Times bestselling sensation Eric Van Lustbader created the legendary Nicholas Linnear of The Ninja and brought Jason Bourne into the twenty-first century. Last year, in First Daughter, Lustbader introduced street-smart ATF agent Jack McClure, who saved the President’s daughter from a criminal mastermind.

When an American senator who is supposed to be in the Ukraine turns up dead on the island of Capri, the President asks McClure to investigate. Jack sets out from Moscow across Eastern Europe, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians. His task is complicated by two unlikely, unexpected, and incompatible companions—-Annika, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli, the President’s daughter.

Thrust into the midst of a global jigsaw puzzle, Jack’s unique dyslexic mind allows him to put together the pieces that others can’t even see. As he struggles to keep both young women safe and uncover the truth behind the senator’s death, Jack learns just how far up the American and Russian political ladders corruption and treachery have reached. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Lustbader's wordy sequel to First Daughter takes dyslexic Jack McClure, former ATF agent and now adviser to recently elected U.S. president Edward Carson, to Moscow, where Carson is negotiating an important treaty with Russian president Yukin. When minority whip Sen. Lloyd Berns dies in a mysterious hit-and-run accident on Capri, the president asks Jack to investigate. Accompanied by Annika, a beautiful Federal Security Bureau agent who's part of a complicated Russian trap, and Alli, Carson's 22-year-old daughter whom Jack saved from a bad guy in the previous book, Jack travels to Ukraine, where Berns was supposed to be on a fact-finding tour. In Kiev, Jack finds a secret agency called Trinadtsat, a shadowy group of Russian oligarchs, and plenty of trouble, including a retired American general out to have him killed. Lustbader fritters away many pages with Jack's navel-gazing, time that could have been better spent in gunfights and derring-do. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In this follow-up to First Daughter, the Cold War has never really thawed. ATF agent Jack McClure, having rescued President Edward Carson's daughter, is now the president's strategic adviser. While McClure is with Carson in Moscow, U.S. Senator Berns is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Berns was a crucial ally in Carson's strategy to get legislation passed in the Democratic-controlled Congress. Is the death an accident or was it a deliberate act by Carson's enemies? Carson sends McClure to investigate. Working the case with McClure is Annika, a rogue Russian counterintelligence agent, and Alli, Carson's daughter. Their investigation delves into a nefarious political intrigue that reaches beyond the death of one man. VERDICT Lustbader carefully weaves a suspenseful political tale that keeps readers guessing what truth will be revealed when the last snow melts away. With an exciting pace reminiscent of the best works by Tom Clancy and David Baldacci, this is sure to appeal to political thriller enthusiasts who love conspiracy narratives with surprises down every dark, twisted alley.—Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L., MD
Kirkus Reviews
A lascivious senator meets an untoward end. The president's bewildered daughter is involved-and so is tough but sensitive ATF agent Jack McClure, the hero of the piece. Readers met McClure (and said bewildered one) in First Daughter (2009). Van Lustbader (The Testament, 2006, etc.), carefully fueling the franchise, drops us smack down where the thrills and spills left off. McClure, dyslexic but a close reader of human nature all the same, is now in President Edward Carson's inner circle, charged, among other things, with keeping young missy out of danger. Fat chance, for the bad guys have designs on her, on the president, on all that is good and noble about the American way of life. Of course, there's bunches of politicos on Capitol Hill who have no idea of what those ideals might mean, and they've been shacking up with the apparatchiks and new rich and uranium hustlers across the waters in Putin's Russia, aka the Evil Empire. McClure knows that the game's afoot, and that he's pretty much on his own ("He had always been an outsider-from his dyslexia to his unorthodox upbringing he's never fit in, and, as he'd finally been able to admit to himself if not to anyone else...he didn't want to.") Enter sweet, sassy and ever so lethal Annika, "a member of an undercover unit of the Russian Federal Police...you could call her a spy without fear of contradiction," who has Electra complex issues of her own, and the fun really gets going. The necklines are low and the body count is high, fulfilling formula obligations; but Van Lustbader is an old hand at this spy-vs.-spy stuff, having resurrected Jason Bourne in the wake of Robert Ludlum's departure from the planet, and he throws in enough twists andturns (and karate chops and slippery Crimean byways) to keep things original and interesting. Will the forces of good prevail? Stay tuned-but bet your bippy that there will be a sequel.
From the Publisher
"I am a huge fan of Eric Lustbader. First Daughter is a first-rate political thriller."

—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Look Again on First Daughter

"Rarely have I read a book that grabs you so fast in the opening scene (and, oh, how it grabs!) then keeps up the pace until the very last page. Goodbye, sleep, hello, First Daughter."

—Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Bodies Left Behind on First Daughter

"Lustbader is at his best when he's creating a twisted web of intrigue, violence, and double cross . . . A master storyteller."

Publishers Weekly on First Daughter

 

"The master of the smart thriller."

—Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765364364
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Jack McClure Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 300,985
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Van Lustbader is the author of numerous New York Times bestselling thrillers and fantasy novels, including First Daughter, Blood Trust, The Ninja and The Pearl series. Lustbader was chosen by Robert Ludlum’s estate to continue the Jason Bourne series, and his Jason Bourne novels include The Bourne Legacy and The Bourne Betrayal. Born and raised in Greenwich Village in New York City, Lustbader worked in the New York public school system and in the music business before turning to writing full-time. He lives in Manhattan and on the South Fork of Long Island with his wife, Victoria, who is also an accomplished author.

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Read an Excerpt

ONE

Moscow | April 5

 

 

JACK MCCLURE, cell phone to his ear, stood in his hotel suite, staring out at the arc-lit onion domes of Red Square. It was snowing. The last snow, it was predicted, of a protracted and, even for Russia, frigid winter. Red Square was nearly deserted. The swirling black wind swept the last of the tourists, shoulders hunched, digital cameras stuffed inside their long coats to protect them, back to their hotels where steaming cups of coffee waited, spiked with vodka or slivovitz. Jack had arrived here a week ago with the presidential entourage on a trip that was both politically necessary and culturally important, which was why the First Lady and the First Daughter had been invited along. The trip had been arranged—brokered might be a more accurate term—by General Atcheson Brandt, who had commanded a wing in the Gulf War. He was both a decorated veteran and, now that he’d retired, a revered military analyst for both CNN and ABC. He knew everyone in Washington who mattered. When he spoke, senior politicians of both parties listened. Though the former administration’s mini cold war with Russia, and President Yukin in particular, had raged for eight years, General Brandt had made it his business to keep the private lines of communication with Yukin open. His public criticism of the former administration’s hard line against Russia had led to a brief summit between Yukin and the former president. Though nothing of substance had come of it, General Brandt had been praised on both sides of the Senate aisles for his efforts.

However, at the moment General Brandt was far from Jack’s mind. Jack hadn’t said a word for the past three minutes and neither had Sharon. Rather, they were listening to each other breathe, as they often did when they lay in bed together in Jack’s house in D.C. While Jack listened through the phone, he thought of her coming home after work, shedding her clothes layer by layer, until she was in her bra and the bikini underpants she always wore. He imagined her sliding into bed, pushing backward, feeling with her buttocks for that shallow indentation his absent body had left behind like a memory. He imagined her eyes closing as she drifted off to sleep. And then imagined she descended further. What did she dream of when all the artifice and layers demanded by civilization melted away, when she reverted to who she had been as a child, when she was certain no one was watching or, at least, able to pierce the veil of her sleep? He liked to imagine that she dreamed of him, but he had no way of knowing, just as he had no way of knowing who she really was, even though he knew her body almost as well as he knew his own, even though he’d observed over and over her every tiny motion, day and night.

He knew these questions assailed him because he was so far from home—traveling with the newly elected president of the United States, his longtime friend, Edward Harrison Carson, as Carson’s strategic advisor.

“What does that title mean exactly?” he’d asked Carson, when the two had met the week following the inauguration.

The president had laughed. “Just like you, Jack, cutting to the quick of everything. I pulled you out of the ATF to find my daughter. You brought Alli back to me when no one else could. I and my family feel safest with you close.”

“With all due respect, Edward, you have a platoon of perfectly competent Secret Service operatives better suited than I am to guard you and your family.”

“You misunderstand me, Jack. I have far too much respect for you to offer you a babysitting job, even though nothing would please Alli more. Besides, on a practical level, your special abilities would be wasted in that capacity. I have no illusions about how difficult and perilous the next four years are going to be. As you can imagine, there are already no end of people who are clamoring to whisper advice in my ear. Part of my job is to allow them this access, but you’re one person I’m inclined to listen to, because you’re the one I trust absolutely.

“That’s what ‘strategic advisor’ means.”

 

SHARON HAD begun whispering, which meant, according to the routine their calls had fallen into over the week Jack had been in Moscow, it was time for them to talk. Jack turned and padded in bare feet past the table with the photos of her and Emma he took everywhere he went, across the carpet to the bathroom. He was about to turn on the water, in order to defeat the listening devices planted in every room. No fewer than four representatives of the Russian government swore there were no such listening devices. But ever since the first night when Secret Service personnel had discovered one, he and everyone in the president’s service were warned to take precautions when speaking to anyone while in the rooms, even if the conversation seemed innocuous.

He heard voices rising up from the hot water pipes behind the toilet. Over the course of the week, he’d occasionally heard a drift of voices from the room on the floor below, but had never before been able to make out a single word. This time, a man’s and a woman’s voice were raised in altercation.

“I hate you!” the woman said, her raw emotion vibrating through the pipe. “I’ve always hated you.”

“You told me you loved me,” the man said, not plaintively, which might be expected, but with the guttural growl of a stalking male.

“Even then I hated you, I always hated you.”

“When I was pinning you to the mattress?”

“Especially then.”

“When I made you come?”

“And what was I screaming in my own language, do you think? ‘I hate you, I’ll see you in hell, I’ll kill you!’ ”

“Jack?”

Sharon’s voice in his ear caused him to twist on the water full force. He wasn’t one to eavesdrop, but there was a vengeful, knife-edged sharpness to both voices that not only compelled listening, but made it almost impossible to stop.

“Jack, are you at a party?”

“In my room,” he said. “The people downstairs are going at it tooth and nail. How are you?” An innocuous enough question, but not when you were forty-six hundred miles apart. When so much distance separated you, there was always a question in your mind: What is she doing, or, its more far-reaching corollary, what has she been doing? It was possible to tell himself that her day proceeded precisely as it did when he was there: She got up in the morning, showered, ate a quick breakfast standing at the kitchen counter, stacked the dishes in the sink because there was time to either wash them or put on her makeup but not do both, went to work, shopped for food, came home, put on Muddy Waters or Steve Earle while she prepared dinner and ate it, read an Anne Tyler or Richard Price novel or watched 30 Rock if it was on, and went to bed.

But he couldn’t help wondering if her day differed in some significant way, that it had been added to, that someone else might have inserted himself into her day or, far worse, her night, someone handsome, understanding, and available. Now he couldn’t help wondering whether this fantasy was jealousy or wish fulfillment. When, three months ago, Sharon had moved back into his house, he was certain they had reconciled the differences that had driven them apart in the first place. The intense physical desire for her that had first drawn him to her had never truly been entirely extinguished. But the fact was, they were still the same people. Jack was dedicated to his work, which Sharon resented, because she had no such dedication. She’d tried several different careers, all without feeling the slightest attachment to them. At first, she’d set herself up as a painter, but though technically accomplished she lacked passion—and nothing good, or at least worthwhile, can be created without it. Typical of her, she’d then drifted into dealing art, figuring to make easy money, but again her lack of conviction, or even interest, predetermined her failure. Finally, she was hired by a friend who worked at the Corcoran but was let go after less than a year. As a result, she now toiled joylessly in real estate, work that was tied to the vagaries of the economy, which, he imagined, could only further stir the pot of her simmering anger—at him, at the world, at her life without their daughter. He couldn’t help but think that she wanted him home for dinner every evening as a kind of revenge, for enjoying his job when she clearly didn’t. This was a desire that made him feel as if he were being strangled. He had always been an outsider—from his dyslexia to his unorthodox upbringing he’d never fit in and, as he’d finally been able to admit to himself if not to anyone else besides Alli Carson, he didn’t want to. One of the things that had bonded him with Alli was that they were both Outsiders. Sharon was conventional in most things; in all the others she was regressive. In the beginning, he’d loved her despite their differences, loved the smell of her, the sight of her both naked and clothed, the intense way she made love. Now Emma, or, more accurately, Emma’s memory, stood between them like an immense, immovable shadow that limned their differences with a cutting edge that was painful.

“Who’s that I hear whistling?” he said now.

“My mom. She arrived yesterday.”

Sharon’s mother had never liked him. She hadn’t approved of the marriage, telling her daughter that it would end in tears, which of course it had. That triumph of hers was in no way mitigated by Sharon having returned to him. Their daughter—her granddaughter—Emma was dead, killed at age twenty in a car accident. As far as Sharon’s mother was concerned it had all ended in tears, no matter what happened from now on.

“Jack, when are you coming home?”

“You asked me that yesterday and the day before.”

“And yesterday and the day before you said you’d find out.” She made that noise where her tongue struck the roof of her mouth. “Jack, what’s the matter with you? Don’t you want to come home?”

The subject, he suspected, would not be coming up so insistently if her mother hadn’t arrived with all her pernicious baggage. “I told you when I signed on with Edward—”

“My mother said you never should have taken that job, and I have to say that I agree with her.”

“What do you mean?”

“If you cared about me, if you cared about repairing the damage to our marriage, you would have found a job closer to home.”

“Sharon, this is starting to feel like déjà vu all over again. I can’t—”

“That’s your answer to everything serious, isn’t it, making jokes. Well, I can’t take that anymore, Jack.”

Silence on the line. He didn’t know what to say or, rather, didn’t want to say something he’d regret. It was strange how intimate conversations became attenuated—how emotions seemed muted, almost murky—when transmitted over long distances, as if the phones themselves were having the conversation. Perhaps it was his alien surroundings—his present, and therefore his priorities so different from her familiar ones.

“You didn’t answer my question.” Her voice sounded thick, as if during the interim she’d been crying.

“I don’t know. Something’s come up.”

“Something’s always coming up.” Her voice had sharpened like a knife at the strop. “But that’s precisely what you want, isn’t it? You—”

The rest of her acerbic response was drowned out by a sharp, insistent rapping on the door he had come to associate with the president’s Secret Service staff.

He took the cell away from his ear and ducked back into the main room, which was at once anonymous and oppressive, a hallmark of what passed for modern Russian decor. It was on the top floor of the vast H-shaped hotel, whose somewhat faded hallways reminded Jack of The Shining. The entire floor was allocated to President Carson, his family, and his entourage.

Dick Bridges, the head of Carson’s Secret Service detail, filled the doorway. He made no move to step inside, but silently mouthed POTUS, the Secret Service acronym for the President of the United States. Jack nodded, held up a forefinger in countersign: a moment. Now, Bridges mouthed, and Jack stepped back into the bathroom where the water was still running.

“Sharon, Edward needs me.”

“Did you hear a word I said?”

He was in no mood for her mother-instigated bullshit. “I’ve got to go.”

“Jack—”

He killed the connection. Back in the room, he stepped into his shoes and, without bothering to tie his laces, went out into the hallway. President Carson, flanked by two agents, was standing in front of the metal fire door that led to the stairwell, which had been blocked off to the floor below. They had the aspect of men who had been talking together for some time: Their heads were tilted toward one another, their mouths were half open, and familiar glances were being exchanged. All of these small observations told Jack that something of significance had arisen at this late hour.

Therefore, he was on high alert when Bridges opened the fire door and they all trooped onto the unpainted concrete landing. There was an unfamiliar mineral odor, as sharp as it was unpleasant, but at least there were no electronic eavesdroppers.

“Jack, Lloyd Berns died in Capri four days ago,” the president said without preamble. Lloyd Berns was Carson’s minority whip in the Senate and, as such, his death was a serious blow to the president’s ability to ram through legislation crucial to the new administration.

Now Jack understood why Carson and his bodyguards had been in conference. “What happened?”

“An accident. Hit and run.”

“What was Berns doing in Capri and why did it take four days to find out he died?”

Carson sighed. “We’re not sure, which is the problem. He was supposed to be on a fact-finding tour in Ukraine, up until ten days ago, that is. Then he disappeared. Best guess from our intelligence boys: He was taking time off from a failing marriage or—and this isn’t unrelated—in Capri with someone else. He had no ID on him and everything grinds slowly in Capri. Three days passed before it occurred to someone in authority that he might be American, so finally a rep from the consulate was contacted and dispatched, and so on and so forth.” He rubbed his hands together briskly. “Be that as it may, I’ve got to get back to D.C. to straighten out the political mess.”

Jack nodded. “I’ll get packed right away.”

The president shook his head. “I’m wondering if you could stay with my wife and Alli. You know how important this accord with Yukin is. Once it’s signed, Russia will no longer aid Iran’s nuclear program, and American security will reach a new level. This is particularly imperative now because our armed forces are dangerously overextended, exhausted to the edge of endurance, and opening the current wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia on yet another front would be disastrous. If my family leaves with me it could damage the fragile détente I’ve managed to form with President Yukin. I can’t have that; he and I are only days away from finalizing and signing the accord, and my entire first year as president hinges on the signing.”

The president seemed abruptly older, as if he’d aged five years since Jack last saw him, fifty minutes ago.

“And, Jack, on a private and very unpleasant note, Alli has begun to act out again—she’s unnaturally willful, contrary, sometimes it seems to me irrational.” His eyes seemed to be speaking another language entirely. “You’re the only one that can make her see reason.”

Alli had been psychologically traumatized. Her abduction was bad enough, but the man who had kidnapped her had also brainwashed her. Ever since Jack had brought her home, a team of psychologists had been working with her. But, more than that, she’d wanted Jack near her as much as was possible. The two of them had forged a close relationship and now, like her father, Alli trusted Jack over and above anyone else in the world, including her parents, with whom she’d always had a difficult and not altogether pleasant relationship.

Jack did, of course, understand. So even though he wanted to return to Washington to advise his old friend or, failing that, to be sent to Capri to find out the details of Lloyd Berns’s death, he did not argue with Carson’s suggestion.

“All right,” he said.

The president nodded, and the Secret Service contingent left them alone in the putrid stairwell. It was at this point that Jack realized every detail of this clandestine meeting had been meticulously planned.

When the two men were alone, Carson took a step toward Jack and handed him a slip of paper. “This is a copy of Berns’s itinerary in Ukraine. The cities I’ve marked are off the official itinerary, but it’s Kiev that was his last stop. Also, remember this name: K. Rochev. Rochev was the last man he saw or was due to see before he abruptly left Ukraine for Capri.”

Jack looked at him. “In other words, you have no idea what the hell he was doing in Kiev.”

Carson nodded. His concern was evident in his eyes, but he said nothing more.

All at once, Jack understood that the babysitting assignment was for the Secret Service personnel’s benefit. This was the real assignment. He smiled. It was part of Carson’s genius to get what he wanted either by suggestion or by leading the other person to the conclusion he desired.

Jack did not look at the writing, which, because of his dyslexia, he’d have to concentrate on fully in order to read. “I guess I’m going to Ukraine to find out what Berns was doing and why he left.”

“I think that’s the best idea. There’s a private jet with diplomatic privileges waiting for you at Sheremetyevo, but you can wait until tomorrow morning, if you wish.” Carson squeezed Jack’s shoulder. “I appreciate this.”

“Part of my job description.” Jack frowned. “Edward, do you suspect something?”

Carson shook his head. “Call it caution or paranoia, the choice is yours. In any event, as Dennis Paull has detailed in his most recent security briefing, my enemies from the previous administration are still powerful, and all of them have very long memories, especially when it comes to revenge. They fought like wild dogs against my nomination and, when I won it, they tried everything they could think of to undermine my candidacy. That they’ve made conciliatory statements in the press doesn’t fool me for a minute. They’re after my blood, and it seems damn lucky for them that Berns is dead, because they know better than anyone that without him I’m going to have the devil’s own time with the Democratic-led Congress.”

Jack did not say that killing Carson’s right-hand man was an extreme way of crippling him, because he’d had firsthand experience with people within the previous administration. He knew what they were capable of and that their thinking did not exclude murder. They’d arranged for Alli to be kidnapped, had almost succeeded in an attack on Carson at the inauguration, and while the perpetrators were either dead or behind bars, the people who had calculatedly planned the attack remained safe to this day behind veils of plausible deniability that even Carson with all his might and power couldn’t penetrate.

The president’s grip on Jack’s shoulder tightened. “Jack, I won’t bullshit you, this could be a wild-goose chase, but if it’s not, if Berns was killed or if he was involved in something that could turn into a scandal, you’re the only one I can trust, you’re my friend and you’re apolitical. I want you on this until you can tell me whether I’m right or wrong.” His eyes grew dark, indicating that he was deeply troubled. “And one other thing. No one is to know what you’re up to, not even Dick.”

“You don’t trust Bridges?”

“I trust you, Jack,” Carson said. “That’s the beginning and the end of it.”

 

Excerpted from Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader.

Copyright © 2010 by Eric Van Lustbader.

Published in 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Silly

    This novel was a big disappointment to me. I am sure that Eric Van Lustbader is capable of writing a better story with real characters, but he just didn't do that here. For starters, the presidential daughter Alli was such a brat that her antics alone nearly caused me to close the book. The implausibility of her being in the plot at all was the start of the silliness, but it just kept getting worse, with her finding an important document by chance, all the way to the characters crossing an airport runway in the face of an oncoming jet. The twists and turns that the author creates were often senseless. None of the characters were well-drawn out enough to be real people in the reader's mind, and there were so many of them it was hard to keep straight who was who. Just a real disappointing novel.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Whiteout

    This is a follow up to the author's book, First Daughter, which had ATF agent Jack McClure saving the President's daughter from a homicidal kidnapper. Much of the Last Snow draws from the previous book, with Jack now protecting the President and his family, especially his daughter, who has been traumatically effected from her previous abduction. The book is set in Russia, where the President is trying to push through a defense treaty. Needless to say, nothing is what it appears to be on the surface, neither the reasons on both sides for the treaty nor the numerous spies and counterspies working on their own or their government's objectives. Deceive, deny and obfuscate seems to be the rule. The author is good at twisting the reader back and forth through the convoluted plot. There seemed to be so many twisted characters that I wasn't entirely taken by any of them, including Jack. On the whole, while it has all the trappings, with the twisty plot, a large cast of characters driven by their psychological short comings and plenty of action, this seems to me an average thriller.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Not what I expected from Van Lustbader

    I have enjoyed Eric Van Lustbader's work on the Bourne series, and even on his preveious Jack McClure book. "Last Snow" was entertaining through the book, and had plenty of twists and turns to keep one's interest piqued. The ending, was to me a rather large disappointment. It felt compacted, almost rushed, and the death of one of the anchors to Jack's ability to be a central "hero" getting killed in such a way was far from likable, or even believable. Anyone with any knowledge of Presidential Limo's knows that circumstance is so far from plausible it really detracts from an otherwise entertaining novel.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    Good Read

    A page turner, very exciting

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Eric Van Lustbader has written another page turner of a novel.

    This book continues with characters from First Daughter and is a very good mystery/thriller. Lots of twists and turns.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This sequel is as entertaining and exciting as its predecessor is.

    Jack McClure, Strategic Advisor to his best friend President of the United States Edward Carson, is in Russia where he negotiates with President Yukin on a pact to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Carson is informed that Senator Lloyd Bern died in Capri; he was supposed to be on a fact finding trip to the Ukraine. He made an unscheduled stop to Kiev where the last person to see him was K. Rochev.

    The President sends Jack to the Ukraine to find out what happened. Before he leaves his hotel Jack rescues Russian FSB Agent Annika Dementieva from an ambush by her lover a minor thug in the local Mafia. When they get on the plane, the First Daughter Alli Carson demands to come with them as he is the only man she trusts (see First Daughter to learn why). As they investigate Bern's death, Jack concludes there is a traitor inside the American President's most inner circle of advisors and probably one inside of Yukin's most trusted advisors. Additionally he wonders whether Bern was murdered rather than dying accidentally as reported. As he continues his inquiry while keeping the two women accompanying him safe, others try to manipulate him, but obviously they don't know Jack.

    This sequel is as entertaining and exciting as its predecessor is. Events are straight from headlines as Jack, Alli and Annika traverse Eastern Europe through a landscape of crime including murder. No one is safe especially the likable trio whose flaws feel genuine. For instance Jack uses his work to bury his mind from obsessing over the recent death of his daughter; this grief propels him to take risks with his life but not if it endangers his two compatriots. Eric Van Lustbader provides his refreshing version of Bourne with the escapdes of Jack.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2013

    I recommend this book.

    This book had a lot of twist ad turns. The main characters had many problems. It made you use you mind to figure out who did what.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Twists

    Twists and turns with an incredible ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    ...

    A rustling in the bushes was heard behind Snowfur... and a strange scent of a large creature mingled with the scent of a flame and the forest...

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  • Posted January 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Some good action, but too boring to finish. I stopped half way

    Some good action, but too boring to finish. I stopped half way through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    A must read in the Carson/McClure series!

    Riveting the whole way though. I couldn't put it down. Couldn't wait to begin the next in the series. This author knows how to capture and hold his audience.

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  • Posted July 27, 2012

    Fun Read, reminiscent of Steve Berry

    This novel picks up the adventures of Jack McClure after the extraordinary first novel in the series. This fast-paced read takes the reader from Russia to the Black Sea with segues to Virginia and DC. Several vibrant new characters have been introduced, and I look forward to reading the third installment. It's been a while since I was so captivated by a book to the point where I looked up at the clock and found I had read way past my bedtime until the wee hours of the morning!

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Everyone should read it.

    It is a fantastic book, everyone should read/buy it. The writer has a fantastic imagination. Eric Van Lustbader is GREAT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Eric v. LUSTBADER: LAST SNOW

    Good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Last Snow

    Special advisor to the President, Jack McClure, finds himself in Moscow with the president and his family working on an important treaty when word comes that a senator has died in Capri. Strange thing is, this senator was supposed to be in the Ukraine. Sensing something is wrong, the president sends Jack McClure off to investigate. Before he can leave, a strange run in with a Russian woman named Annika stirs the pot and gives him a partner. Throw in the first daughter, Alli, deciding to tag along as well, and you have quite a mixed up group.

    Jack just didn't seem to do much for me. Perhaps it was the magical way his dyslexia gave him special thinking powers (not sure if that's possible or not, but it seemed an easy way out). Or perhaps how he always just seemed to get lucky. He really didn't seem to be making any headway on his own. It was all the work of Annika and Alli until the final mystery which he pulls a solution out of thin air.

    Annika is hard to describe. I didnt seem to get to know her very well at all. And what I did get to know about her always seemed to be changing.

    Alli was by far my favorite character. SHe was stronger than she thought she was. After being through a traumtic kidnapping (the first book) she has a lot of emotional baggage that she is working through throughout the entire story. I couldn't help but admire her tenacity as she tried to find herself again.

    The story itself was decent, but there was so much going on behind the scenes that without many strokes of luck our characters would have been dead several times over. I'm still trying to figure out how the ending really was the best solution to anything. I'm all for the surprise twist to keep the reader guessing, but there were a few too many this time.

    3/5

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Complex Intrigue

    Last Snow is Eric Van Lustbader's sequel to his smashing hit, First Daughter. The lives of the United States President and the family of Jack McClure are intertwined. Not only are the men good friends, but their daughters are best friends and roommates. In the first book, Jack is able to rescue Alli, the President's daughter, when she is abducted. That act leads to him becoming the President's special and trusted advisor, the one man the President trusts entirely.

    As Last Snow begins, Jack and the President are in Russia, where the terms of a historic treaty are being worked out. Then a member of the delegation, a Senator who is supposed to be in Russia working, is found dead in Capri. No one knows why he was there, if the death was accidental or a murder, or if it will impact the treaty talks. Jack is asked to investigate the matter.

    As he prepares to depart on his mission, he becomes embroiled in an assault on a beautiful Russian FSB agent, Annika. He saves her but then realises that she will remain in danger in the capitol. However, with her contacts and knowledge, they agree that she will be useful in the investigation and agree that she should accompany Jack on his trip. They are surprised when they get to the plane to find Alli Carson, the First Daughter, ready to go also. Since her return from captivity, she is only comfortable around her rescuer Jack, and refuses to stay behind.

    The three travel across Eastern Europe. They quickly discover there are several factions working behind the scenes; some to insure passage of the treaty, and some to defeat it. There is treachery, counterspying, betrayals, alliances and a world where nothing is as it seems. Can the trio manuver their way between the obstacles and find out what is behind the various groups before the treaty signing?

    As with his other books, Van Lustbader delivers a heartstopping suspenseful story, full of plots and counterplots and story twists. The reader feels compelled to read to the end, many holding their breath in especially exciting areas. The characters aren't as fully developed in this book as in others, as plot and pace is everything, although Jack is a strong character and the villians are especially memorable. This book is recommended for readers who like action suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2010

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    Posted March 21, 2010

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