You there, with that book in your hand. Put that down. Now, pick up this one and resume. No, seriously. You don’t want to be reading that, you need to be reading this.
Sometimes you read a book and can just tell the author is trying too hard to make it something more than it is. That is not this kind of book. The Last Kind Words is literary crime fiction that doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be anything but a great fucking story. There is no frill or filler here, no need to seem smarter than your average hard-boiled thriller. It just is. It’s quiet when it needs to be, bloody as hell when the time is right, with enough surprises to keep things skipping along, but not so hung up on the whodunit that the story or the characters get pushed aside.
That’s what I love about Piccirilli. He doesn’t overplay his hand, he just writes. He doesn’t tell you stories, his characters do. This was my fourth or fifth Tom Piccirilli book in the past year or so, and I’m clamoring for more. I look forward to catching up on his entire backlist, even if it doesn’t compare to TLKW. Pic currently resides atop my list of favorite authors, cemented there by this book. Start reading this guy, right now. Start with this one, absorb it, revel in it, then go get more.