Thursday, August 12, 2010

#120 The Last Good Chance by Tom Barbash

Its been a couple of books since I had a winner and this was not it!!!

This is a story of an architect, Jack, who goes back to his small hometown and is working to develop the town.  Unbeknownst to him the town mayor and his own brother are working at removing hazardous waste from what was once a disposal site for it.  As is usually the case, the disposal was not done properly and is now being secretly moved so as not to disrupt the plans for remaking the town.

That's a brief summary, there are other characters such as Turner, Jack's friend and newspaper reporter who digs up the truth of the story.  Their friendship is sorely tested throughout the book.  I guess though I never got the impression that had a strong bond.

I can't even tell you why I didn't like this book to easily.  There was a story and at times interesting, but it just felt blah to me.  I think part of it was the characters, they weren't likable or even interesting to me.  There are very very few books that can survive having unlikeable characters and this was not one of them.

On a positive note there is the character of Jack's brother, Harris who tries to seek redemption and begins doing the right things just because they are right.  While I didn't like him, it was nice to see a character who just decided to do right for the sake of it, not because of any real crisis forcing him into it.  Yes his wife and new baby daughter had left him, but not because of the things he had done but because of the way he treated his wife.  It wasn't like a major conflict, he just new he didn't deserve the baby girl and decided to become the man that would deserve her.

Like I said the story had promise but I felt it fell flat.  I would give this one a C-.   

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