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The Last Best Hope (Matthew Hope Series #13)
     

The Last Best Hope (Matthew Hope Series #13)

4.0 2
by Ed McBain
 

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Middle-aged Jack Lawton leaves his Calusa Florida home and heads north to look for work. Instead he finds another woman. His wife Jill is furious and wants out and alimony. First, though, she must find her errant husband. It's a case attorney Matthew Hope's associates can handle with their private eyes shut. But that's before a corpse turns up on a Calusa beach with

Overview

Middle-aged Jack Lawton leaves his Calusa Florida home and heads north to look for work. Instead he finds another woman. His wife Jill is furious and wants out and alimony. First, though, she must find her errant husband. It's a case attorney Matthew Hope's associates can handle with their private eyes shut. But that's before a corpse turns up on a Calusa beach with Jack Lawton's ID in his pocket.

Editorial Reviews

People Magazine
He is, by far, the best at what he does. Case closed.
Marilyn Stasio
Cynical twists and deadly turns. . .a wondrously tricky plot. -- The New York Times Book Review
Time Magazine
A master....As always in his novels, sharp, clear sentences trot briskly one after another....As always, the funny stuff is funny and the scary parts scary.
Newsweek
He is a superior stylist, a spinner of artfully designed and sometimes macabre plots.
Houston Post
The best crime writer in the business.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McBain, an MWA Grandmaster, seamlessly combines the casts and locales of his Matthew Hope and 87th Precinct series into a coherent and entertaining whole. It begins when Jill Lawton approaches Hope, an attorney in Calusa, Fla., for help in finding her missing husband, Jack, whom she intends to divorce. That night, a body carrying Jack's identification turns up shot in the face and dead. It's not Jack Lawton's body, however, but that of Ernest Corrington, a burglar and would-be actor who was the third corner in a love triangle with Jack and a woman who goes by two names, Melanie and Holly. Jack and she have also comprised an erotic triangle with Jill. What binds these people together (besides the sexual geometry) is a plan to steal the Hemlock Cup from a local museum. The cup, the stuff of legends, is reputedly the very cup from which Socrates drank his poison. Jack, Jill, Holly/Melanie and Corrington hatch intricate plots to steal the cupand to eliminate each other from collecting any part of the payment being offered by a Greek collector. Trying to trace Jack, Hope gets in touch with Detective Steve Carella of the 87th Precinct "up north." Their collaboration is complicated by dead bodies and yet another boyfriend of Holly/Melanie's. Sound tangled? It is, but with McBain's skilled handling, it's crystal clear and an absolute delight.
Library Journal
After eight years of marriage, Jack and Jill Lawton are are looking to add a little spice to their sex lives. Melanie Schwartz joins them, and the trio are happy until Jack leaves Florida for New York to look for work. Melanie disappears shortly afterward. Six months later Jill files for divorce. She hires a lawyer to find Jack and serve the divorce papers. That's when the dead bodies begin to appear. The first body has Jack's ID, but it isn't Jack. The second body is Melanie's. The motive for the killings appears to revolve around the museum tour of very valuable Socratic artifacts. How the two are connected is unclear to the Florida lawyer and the New York police officer who are looking for Jack. Though the main characters are left wondering, the convoluted truth is finally revealed to the reader. Despite being read by the author, this abridgment just hangs together. Convincing rationale for the casual murders, theft, abandonment, and ever-shifting attachments is minimal. -- Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Library, Providence
Kirkus Reviews
It's no trouble for Matthew Hope to find Jill Lawton's departed husband Jack, even though Matthew won't be able to serve him with divorce papers and an alimony suit after all, since Jack is dead—killed on a nearby beach, a long way from his last sighting up north, only a few hours after Jill first hires Matthew. As usual with McBain, though, the case is a little trickier than it seems. For one thing, the dead guy on the beach with Jack's ID in his wallet isn't Jack after all, but one Ernest Corrington, a stickup man who'd joined forces with Jack to heist a seriously overpriced terra-cotta cup for a well-heeled, unscrupulous client. For another, Hope's original telephone search for Jack at his last known address put him in touch with none other than Steve Carella, of McBain's beloved 87th Precinct. While it seems as if Hope and the boys at the 87th are working at cross-purposes—and they are, they are—their lack of communication is nothing compared to the triple- and quadruple- crosses planned by the gang of amateurs and professionals Jack's recruited to steal that cup. As McBain hip-hops back and forth through time (achieving an especially eerie effect with one sequence presented from the point of view of a character who's just been killed), it becomes obvious that even though Jack & Co. may have the cup, they don't have what it takes. A bit too obvious, maybe. Lacking the sustained tension of Hope's last two cases, this one works best as an ebullient lightweight.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446519908
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
11/11/2005
Series:
Matthew Hope Series , #13
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

With a writing career that spanned five decades, Ed McBain (1926-2005), the nom de plume of Evan Hunter, was the author of over 100 books, including his 87th Precinct series set in a fictional borough of New York City. He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. He was the first American writer to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writer Association’s most prestigious award, and he was also the recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master award.

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The Last Best Hope (Matthew Hope Series #13) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a quick, easy read with down-to-earth dialogue and a very interesting plot. I did find the flashbacks a bit distracting, but necessary, I suppose. What is nice about the book is that a(nother) crime is to be committed and the suspense about this builds up throughout the entire book...keeps you on the edge of your seat!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There may be a message in this title, it may be the last one featuring Matthew Hope. This is an easy read as are most McBain works, the action is fast paced, though it is still possible to pick up and put down. Hope is hired to find a missing husband by a wife who wants a divorce. The husband, Jack Lawton, left Florida the previous year and Jill has had no word from him for months though a friend saw him up north with another woman. The action in this novel is intricate and follows the investigation in the north and the South as well as the activities of the criminals.