The Last Family: A Suspense Novel

Overview

Paul Masterson was once the best at what he did, the undisputed star of the DEA's strike force. Then, six years ago, an ambush on a Miami pier killed his two young proteges and left Paul half-blind, his confidence shattered. He fled his wife and children for the majestic silence of Montana, where he has lived a hermit's life - until now. Martin Fletcher is the diabolical DEA renegade who ordered Paul's death six years ago - just one step in an insanely single-minded drive for revenge against the colleagues he ...
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Overview

Paul Masterson was once the best at what he did, the undisputed star of the DEA's strike force. Then, six years ago, an ambush on a Miami pier killed his two young proteges and left Paul half-blind, his confidence shattered. He fled his wife and children for the majestic silence of Montana, where he has lived a hermit's life - until now. Martin Fletcher is the diabolical DEA renegade who ordered Paul's death six years ago - just one step in an insanely single-minded drive for revenge against the colleagues he believes betrayed him. One day, he said, he would eat their hearts out. And Martin Fletcher is a man of his word. For six years, he's preyed on the families of his enemies. One by one, he's stalked them, stolen into their lives, destroyed them. Paul Masterson's family - his estranged wife, Laura, his teenage daughter and nine-year-old son - are Martin Fletcher's final target. The last family. And Paul Masterson, who once feared no one, must reach deep into his tortured being and recapture the strength, the fierce instinct to survive, that long ago made him Martin Fletcher's equal. He must discover a way to create a foolproof safety net around his family's home - all the while using them to lure an inhuman predator. And he must find the courage to face the people he loves most in the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A killer stalks DEA agents. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Six years ago, DEA agent Paul Masterson's life was shattered. Hideously injured in a drug ambush that took the lives of two of his men, Paul has fled to Montana to live as a recluse after the breakdown of his marriage. Unbeknownst to Paul, Martin Fletcher, the renegade agent responsible for the deadly explosion, is systematically killing the wives and children of the agents who worked under Paul. Now, Fletcher has thrown down the gauntlet and is stalking Paul's ex-wife and two children. Forced from his retreat, Paul must confront his former wife, Laura, whom he still loves, and his two children. The story is well paced, and first novelist Miller does an admirable job of building the suspense as the good guys battle the brilliant but diabolical Fletcher. A satisfying read that should do well in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/96.]-Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo
Larry King
From page one, you'll be caught in this gripping, taut thriller...five stars. -- USA Today
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553477221
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: 4 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"It has to be you, Paul. No one else has got the thunder it would take. Senators and congressmen know you. If it hadn't been for the shooting, you'd be the DEA or FBI director by now, and they all know it."

Paul walked to the door, his shoulders rolling from side to side as he went. "I can make some calls. Think it's someone we hurt in Miami?"

"It's Fletcher," Joe McLean said.

"Martin Fletcher?" It was as if Paul had been kicked in the chest. He all but staggered back against the doorjamb. His lip quivered and he blinked rapidly. "God, I had hoped he was dead."

It all came to the surface in a flash of pain. Martin Fletcher was the man who had had him shot. Fletcher had escaped from federal custody and vanished even as Paul had fought for his life in a Miami hospital's trauma unit. He had masterminded the hit on Paul's team from his prison cell and then had escaped the same day, before anyone could put it together.

"Far as I can find out, nobody's ever come close to catching him," Joe said.

Thorne sighed. "The family killings started four years back. That gave him a good two years from his prison break to plan it."

"I don't remember all of it. It's kind of fuzzy. I remember he escaped. If he was retaken, I never heard about it."

"Remember when he said he'd eat our hearts out?"

"Sort of. Yes. I know he was berserk last time I saw him. At the trial."

"What is this if not a way to eat our hearts out?"

"I remember sitting on the stand and his eyes as I testified. And the outburst when he was sentenced."

"He set us up, remember?" Thorne turned and looped out at the stream. "You know what he did to you...tried to kill all of us."

"I know what he did to me." Every timeI look in the mirror or try to use my left hand or gauge depth.

"It's retaliation, Paul," Joe said, breaking in. "The ultimate twisting of the blade. Better than blowing our brains out."

"I'll make some calls," Paul said. "Some people still owe me, I guess. Maybe I can do something."

"I'd trade my life for two minutes alone with him," Thorne Greer said. "Look what he did to you, for Christ's sake. How long has it been since you left this goddamned cabin? Look around. You're stuck in a calendar shot. The closest town is a cluster of log huts. He's already fuckin' killed you, you just ain't noticed yet."

Paul looked out the window. "Five years since I came back here. Month since I even went to Aaron's store. I'm no good outside here. I just can't...you got to understand..."

"Goddamn it," Joe exploded. "You owe us. He fuckin' did it because of what you did. You nailed his ass to the cross. You set him against us."

"Come on, Joe. Fletcher's nuts," Thorne said.

"What?" Paul stammered. "I just arrested him."

"Nobody bothered to tell Martin it was merely an arrest and that you didn't mean anything by it," Thorne said.

"Martin left a note on Doris's body. Wanted you to know it was him. Said he'd leave you alone if you'd leave him be." Joe realized Paul was confused and frightened. But they had to have Paul to get Fletcher. Paul was once powerful stuff at DEA. At the time of the ambush he had been a heroic figure in the agency, a leader who went into the field and faced danger with his men. The files bulged with citations and press clippings on his career.

"I'm sorry...God, I'm sorry. I was doing my job. If I had known--Paul hung his head.

"Fletcher wants us to blame you. But we don't. Do we?" Thorne looked at Joe. Joe nodded slowly and slammed the flat of his hand against a beam. "Martin Fletcher's crazy as a shithouse rat."

"Crazy as a shithouse fox," Joe said.

"Couldn't it be anyone else? We made some people mighty unhappy. Maybe it's someone wanting us to think it's Martin. Hiding behind his mystique."

"The players we chased around after are mostly washed up--kids who were in diapers then are leaders now. Ochoa, Lopez, Perez," Joe said. "The ones that are still alive are in hiding in Spain, in jail, dead, or so deep in the jungle they're making monkeys."

"He butchered our families. He has to be stopped. You have to come out and help us," Thorne said.

"I'm sorry," Paul said. He looked out the window and took a deep breath and exhaled it. "I can't...can't think about going out there again."

"What the hell do you mean?" Joe snapped. "Haven't you been listening? Our families have been fucking wiped out! What makes you think he's finished?"

"Finished?"

"There's only one family left, Paul. Yours."

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