The Last Voice You Hear

Overview

Zoë Boehm doesn't do death. It's a rule. Yet here she is-in this new ambitious detective novel from the sure-footed Mick Herron-worried by three of them. Zoë herself has killed a man, and self-defense or not, it cripples her emotions still. She also remembers Wez, a twelve-year-old kid afraid of heights, who tumbled to his death from the top of a tower block; she knew him when he was nine and snatching purses from middle-aged ladies. Then, there's Caroline Daniels. They're saying that Caroline's death was ...
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The Last Voice You Hear

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Overview

Zoë Boehm doesn't do death. It's a rule. Yet here she is-in this new ambitious detective novel from the sure-footed Mick Herron-worried by three of them. Zoë herself has killed a man, and self-defense or not, it cripples her emotions still. She also remembers Wez, a twelve-year-old kid afraid of heights, who tumbled to his death from the top of a tower block; she knew him when he was nine and snatching purses from middle-aged ladies. Then, there's Caroline Daniels. They're saying that Caroline's death was accidental: that she fell off the crowded underground platform and died beneath the wheels of an oncoming train. Nonetheless, Caroline's employer, Amory Grayling, is disturbed. Caroline, it seems, had recently acquired a lover who remains mysteriously faceless and nameless. So it is that Zoë begins searching for a man whom no one knows by attempting to uncover the secrets locked in the heart of a woman she has never met. Though the questions outnumber Zoë's answers, she is certain that Caroline did not fall accidentally to death. Nor did Wez, she comes to realize, and soon finds herself dangerously pursuing two murderers, though one of them may find her first.
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Editorial Reviews

Dennis Drabelle
With its vivid descriptions (the texture of Zoë's troubled sleep is compared to "hunting somebody through a viciously thorned maze") and unexpected clues, notably the Motown records of which the killer is fond, The Last Voice You Hear is stylish and engaging.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
This tight, literary, clich -free novel, the second in British author Herron's Zoe Boehm series (after Down Cemetery Road) but the first to be published in the U.S., finds the Oxford private detective investigating three mysteries: a 12-year-old purse snatcher's plunge from the roof of a seedy London high-rise and the separate murders of two middle-aged women. Boehm suspects the women's deaths are linked to their dating Alan Talmadge, a Motown-humming Bluebeard who preys on women whose age is edging them out of the singles scene. Boehm believes Talmadge pushed the two women to their deaths, into a subway track and a ditch of water, respectively. Herron's writing includes some fine images: "when she coughed, it racked through her like she was a wardrobe full of empty coathangers." The hunter becomes the hunted as Boehm seeks refuge deep in the country, with a friend who keeps ostriches, of all things. This plot is intriguing from opening to denouement. Point-of-view switches could confuse some readers, and the capture of one perpetrator is postponed for a sequel, but this doesn't dim Herron's gift for action, dialogue and, most of all, psychology and setting. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An Oxford private enquiry agent with a distinct aversion to death takes on a series of adversaries with no such scruples. Zoe Boehm came by her fear of death honestly by shooting a man determined to kill her (Down Cemetery Road, not reviewed). Ever since, she's done her best to avoid the dead in her professional practice, preferring commissions like returning 12-year-old runaway Dig, ne Andrew Kite, to his distraught family. Now death has found Zoe out, despite her best efforts. The week that acquitted bullion robber and cop killer Charles Parsley Sturrock finally gets his quietus, Zoe's shocked to learn that Wensley Deepman, the nasty little boy who took Dig under his wing three years ago, has died as well in a highly suspicious fall from a tower block. So Zoe's in no mood to trace Alan Talmadge, the new boyfriend of Caroline Daniels, who failed to show up for her funeral and hasn't been heard from since. But Caroline's boss, troubleshooter Amory Grayling, is so gently persistent and his late secretary so sadly appealing in her loneliness that Zoe can't say no. All too soon she's sorry she couldn't, as Herron draws the three creepy deaths together in unexpected and satisfying ways. The engaging heroine never loses her cool, from the melancholy opening to the whirlwind finale, a marvelously extended set-piece showing what happens when determined killers hunt for somebody equally determined to not be found.
From the Publisher
Praise for The Last Voice You Hear

“With its vivid descriptions . . . and unexpected clues . . . The Last Voice You Hear is stylish and engaging.”
Washington Post

"Unexpected and satisfying . . . The engaging heroine never loses her cool, from the melancholy opening to the whirlwind finale, a marvelously extended set-piece."
Kirkus Reviews

"[A] tight, literary, cliché-free novel."
Publishers Weekly

“Thoroughly worth reading.”
Booklist

Praise for Mick Herron

"Mick Herron never tells a suspense story in the expected way."
—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Good characterization, dialogue and well-paced narrative make this confident first novel frighteningly plausible.”
—Daily Telegraph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475676
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mick Herron was born in Newcastle and has a degree in English from Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author of two books in the Slough House series, Slow Horses and Dead Lions, as well as the stand-alone thriller Nobody Walks. He now lives in Oxford and works in London.

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Table of Contents

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