The Last One Left by John D. MacDonald
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Starts really slowly with multiple third person narratives, each with detailed character introductions and much backstory. I stalled out lost after a few chapters and had to restart from the beginning. I have a deep admiration for JDM’s early stand alone novels with their taut linear plots and low word counts. This novel is far more ambitious telling the tale of a complex scheme initiated by the devious and deadly beauty Crissy Harkinson to steal a load of dark money by faking a boating accident. This personally involves Texas lawyer Sam Boylston, an overbearing perfectionist with a marriage on the rocks, and with a kid sister on the missing boat. MacDonald was an exceptional writer and the prose here, albeit a bit wordy for my tastes, is superb. Yeah, the plot is complex and there are probably too many characters but MacDonald deftly ties the multiple narratives into a cohesive and compelling story. It takes a some effort and focus by the reader to get pulled past the slow start but the rewards are substantial. An excellent book that I’m going to dock one half star for the slow start and the excessive verbosity. Four and a half stars.