Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
Almost-billionaire Vaughn Kreisler has vanished without a trace. So has his money, save the few million he left behind for his wife. When his yacht, the Last Chance, arrives in Grand Bahama, only one person is aboard—a feisty blonde who seems unconcerned about Kreisler's disappearance. Detective Lieutenant Paul Beston's investigation is hobbled from the start by the lack of a corpse and his growing infatuation for the prime suspect. When an ex-lover outs Beston at work, his colleagues abandon him, and an old rival exacts a violent revenge. The disgraced detective has only one person on his side—the alleged murderer. Can they be trusted?
Seductive, twisted, and highly engrossing, Last Chance might be a quick read but it certainly packs a punch with Burch quickly getting into the psychology of his characters. Containing all the expected elements of the genre, but in a tightly clipped, more economical style; his story is refreshingly free of clichés, existing not just for itself but to provide an arena for the personalities at play. When it comes to the dialogue he has a fine ear for nuance, delivering far more than the typical semi-parody of life found in most fiction. He makes us feel that these are the words of real people trying to reveal or conceal themselves in extraordinary circumstances. There’s timely misdirection which is slickly handled but when all of the threads are pulled together you have to appreciate the way in which it all makes sense. Perhaps a longer novel would have introduced an unnecessary level of complexity, but here Burch achieves just the right balance whilst equally as important Beston proves a strong and original character to carry a series forward.
Brief but never the less highly enjoyable, Last Chance proves an enticing series debut and one which should leave its readers eager for more. It is strongly recommended.
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