Consumed by guilt at a wrongful conviction in one of his cases, LAPD detective Charlie Waldo resigns and retreats to isolation in a tiny cabin in the woods—until his ex-girlfriend Lorena appeals for his help in saving Alistair Pinch, a famous movie actor accused of murdering his third wife.
Gould has recently turned his hand to detective fiction, and if his debut novel is any indication, one can only wish that he had done so before now. He has created a unique protagonist and set him against the backdrop of contemporary southern California in a very original and engrossing manner, one that will keep you reading nonstop for hours ... There are many twists and turns before Last Looks concludes, and while the book is complete in itself, one or two issues are left dangling that just might provide fodder for future installments, should Gould see fit. Gould’s scriptwriting experience shines through here. Each page contains a number of crystal-clear images that beg for translation to video while making it ultimately unnecessary. There’s also some humor in just the right places to keep things from becoming too dark.
Comic crime novelists can try too hard ... But they can also get it right ... TV writer Gould’s good-natured humor ranges from showbiz satire to Charlie’s bemused takes on modern urban life. And his characters are great, including volatile, charming Pinch and Charlie’s new friend, a kindergarten teacher who (as they so often do) moonlights as a porno star.
Gould's experience as a film and TV writer and producer is evident in this well-written first novel that manages to focus on environmental concerns while spoofing Hollywood clichés with a nod toward classic American detective fiction. Charlie Waldo would do well on the big screen—he does very well here.