2020 Silver Falchion Finalist

The Mask of Midnight by Laurie Stevens

Last Call
by Manning Wolfe & Laura Oles

Starpath Books
ISBN 978-1944225391
Publication Date: October 2019
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Last Call

Review by Joy Gorence

Last Call is the tenth book in the Bullet Books Speed Reads collection.  In this installment, Manning Wolfe teams up with Laura Oles, author of Daughters of Bad Men and together they create a fast-paced tale that readers will absolutely devour. The story begins when Jackie Rome, a forty-two-year-old, Austin waitress, decides she needs to do “something else with [her] life” (4).  A phone call leads her to a change, but not one she expects.  When she arrives at The Rabbit Hole, the “dive bar” her estranged father, Chet Rome, has owned, she learns she is the new owner. Her father lived his life at the bottom of a bottle and with the help of Ray, he barely managed to keep his Colorado Springs bar afloat. Quickly she learns she has also inherited his problems. It is at this point that Wolfe and Oles begin to build the tension that the novel sustains throughout.

It is Dutch, a long-time friend of Chet’s, who educates Jackie regarding the status of the business.  A financial arrangement her father made with Ray comes to haunt her, and she finds herself quickly going down her own rabbit hole. With the help of Dutch, she fights her way out.

Jackie’s narrative rapidly moves the plot from one conflict to the next, which engages the reader from the first page to the last.  With change comes growth, and by the end Jackie must do “something else” with her life. The final chapter leaves the reader wanting to know what Jackie will find in the next episode.  

Joy Gorence is new to Killer Nashville.  She is an author, world-traveler, English professor (ret.), and avid reader.  Originally from Long Island, NY she now lives in South Florida with her husband, Bill, and their two pampered kitties.