This novel packs on the suspenseful surprises and plot reversals that made Parks a mainstay on the best-seller lists, but it's not just gritty and dark. With a lighter approach, Parks focuses on enduring characters and sharp wordplay, perfect for those who like their thrillers witty rather than bloody. Even if they aren't fans of Broadway musicals, readers will want to seek out this one.
May be [Parks'] best yet ... The Last Act possesses two notable virtues. One is excellent characterizations. Parks not only makes Tommy believable but does the same for numerous others, including his admirable girlfriend, his difficult mother, his huge, possibly dangerous cellmate, the poker-playing convict who has the secrets and the slippery FBI agent he trusts, perhaps unwisely. The other is a roller-coaster plot that serves up endless surprises. Whatever you think is coming next probably isn’t.
A Brad Parks novel offers two pleasures. One is watching a stunning talent at work. The other—operating almost apart from the first— is getting wrapped in the coils of a fiendishly clever thriller. Parks here works his magic ... The prose is hypnotic, the emotions genuine, the characters warm and alive. And the revelations as the masks drop are for Parks to reveal. Readers are not likely to scorn Tommy because he got fooled. So will they.
The Last Act is a fast read that sinks its hooks into you and doesn't let go. This is a testament to Parks’ writing and the ease with which he lulls readers into a false sense of security, only to pull the rug right out from under you. It is a terrific stand-alone novel that presents an opportunity for those unfamiliar with Parks to dive into his writing style and tight plotting.
Parks has rebounded in spectacular fashion, proving he’s far from a one-hit-wonder by delivering a devilishly good story with more twists and turns than Say Nothing and enough edge-of-your-seat suspense to fill two books ... Buckle up and hold on tight ... The Last Act is the kind of heart-pumping thriller that you’ll stay up all night to read and then spend another day telling everyone you know all about it.
Fans of Parks’ well-oiled thrillers won’t even bother to ask; they’ll be too busy licking their chops anticipating the twists that are bound to come ... The setup is so patient and the logistics so matter-of-fact that even the savviest readers will be caught in the story’s expertly laid traps before they know what’s happening.
An intriguing setup but few thrills ... The action slows as Tommy leads a boring life in the minimum-security prison, where he’s never in peril and threats to others feel minimal. He makes little progress in getting close to Mitchell. Much of the plot depends on coincidence or surprise revelations. Hopefully, Parks will return to form next time.