Tag: Piccirilli

The Last Whisper in the Dark by Tom Piccirilli

Posted July 7, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Thriller / 3 Comments

The Last Whisper in the Dark by Tom PiccirilliTitle: The Last Whisper in the Dark (Goodreads)
Author: Tom Piccirilli
Series: Terrier Rand #2
Published: Bantam Press, 2013
Pages: 336
Genres: Thriller
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Prodigal thief Terrier Rand has been sucked back into the life he so desperately wanted to escape. He finds himself this time helping his old friend’s wife, Kimmy discover just what has changed with Chud since the night a car heist went horribly wrong. These people don’t take kindly to the questions Terry is asking but before he can find that truth, a curvy femme fatale takes him on a walk on the wild side, estranged relatives pull him into their horror film empire, and his sister is heading for disaster.

I first discovered Tom Piccirilli from an Amazon email recommending me The Last Kind Words (book one of the Terrier Rand series) based on my enjoyment of Drive by James Sallis. Based on that email I did some research of the book and ending up buying it (not from Amazon). Although the two books are vastly different I really enjoyed The Last Kind Words and was so pleased to see Terrier Rand return for another novel.

Terrier Rand grew up in a household of thieves and grifters; from a very young age Terry had been engaging in theft. He left his family and life of crime to go straight but in The Last Kind Words, which happened five years later, he had been dragged back in when his brother was claiming to be innocent of one of the victims of his killing spree. His brother was only days away from execution and asked Terry to look into that one murder. Collie has pleaded guilty for all the other murders but the police won’t listen when he claims he is innocent of this one murder. Collie doesn’t want the real killer to remain on the loose and even though Terry hates his brother and what he did, he finds himself investigating.

Now Terrier finds himself sucked into the family drama all over again, this time it’s his old friend Chud (as well as his wife Kimmy) and his sister Dale that he has to look after. No matter what he does, Terry just can’t seem to escape his family; though he may love them, they will always suck him back into a life he urgently wants to escape. So Terry is constantly in a battle between escaping and helping the people he loves; Dale his younger sister who he wants to keep away from the world of crime and Kimmy, his former fiancée and his daughter, who he wants to keep safe as well and if his old friend Chud is mixed up in something he might have to try and save him as well.

This is not a crime thriller; this is a book of family drama and different dilemmas that come with them. While the thriller genre plays out really well and you can even see Tom Piccirilli’s noir back ground come through within this book. I love this series simply because of the unique characters and the drama that comes with looking after those who are close to you. Piccirilli does a wonderful job of writing crime fiction and blending it with character development and drama, something that is often lacking in this genre and he just shows the world how it can be done well and he does it with ease and style.

The Last Whisper in the Dark continues the story of Terrier Rand really well, those characters have a way of sticking with you and it was so great to return to them and see what happens next. You have to read The Last Kind Words before trying this book out but I highly recommend them both if you are looking for something with more character and emotions in a crime thriller. I will admit I haven’t read anything else Tom Piccirilli has written which I feel bad about but maybe I will get a chance to do so sometime soon. I hear great things about his noir fiction and in particular The Cold Spot, so that is already on my radar.


The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

Posted July 8, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Thriller / 0 Comments

The Last Kind Words by Tom PiccirilliTitle: The Last Kind Words (Goodreads)
Author: Tom Piccirilli
Series: Terrier Rand #1
Published: Random House, 2012
Pages: 336
Genres: Thriller
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I picked up this novel because I got an email from Amazon recommending this book because I liked Drive by James Sallis. While I didn’t believe it would be anything like Drive the synopsis did intrigue me. Terrier Rand grew up in a household of thieves and grifters; from a very young age Terry had been engaging in theft. He left his family and life of crime to go straight but five years later he has been dragged back in when his brother is claiming to be innocent of one of the victims of his killing spree. His brother is only days away from execution and has asked his brother to look into one of the murders. He has pleaded guilty for all the other murders but the police won’t listen. Collie doesn’t want to the real killer to remain on the loose and even though Terry hates his brother and what he did, he finds himself investigating.

Terrier finds himself being sucked into a life he has tried really hard to escape. As the story slowly unfolds Terry begins to find out that maybe his grandfather was right when he told him; “We’re born thieves, it’s our nature, handed down to me, handed down from me. This is our way.” Can Terry really escape a life of crime? Is Collie really guilty of this crime? Can Terry save his teenage sister from falling into a life of crime?

The Last Kind Words has some interesting family elements throughout this novel; each member of the family is unique and interesting; even if they are all named after dogs. His father, Pinsch is a retired cat burglar, his uncles Mal and Grey are in trouble with the local mob and his Grandfather Old Shep may be suffering from Alzheimer’s but still proving time and time again that he is a master pickpocket. Throughout the book, the reader is left wondering if Terry should help his family or try and save himself; always questioning the importance of family, when your family can be so self destructive.

From the start I was hooked, this novel had a nice pace to it, mixing elements of crime and mystery with an interesting character driven story about love and family. While Tom Piccirilli did a wonderful job in writing a novel of suspense, guilt, justice and redemption, I never really understood Terry’s motivations. I get that he wanted to help his family and I get that the book is meant to question the reader but I just felt that the characters motivation never felt clear to begin with, he didn’t want to be there, he didn’t want to help his brother, in fact he hated his brother and never believed him, so it felt like obligation was the only reason to return, even though I thought that reason didn’t fit this character too well.

The Last Kind Words is an interesting book and well worth reading. Crime lovers will love the suspense and mystery throughout this book and literary lovers will love the character building and family turmoil in this novel. The narrative is atmospheric with a slight noir feel to it; personally I would have loved more of a noir narrative but Tom Piccirilli did a brilliant job writing this book anyway. One of the better books I’ve read this year; I just had so much fun reading The Last Kind Words.