The Last Hand by Eric Wight

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Synopsis

Charlie Salter, Staff Inspector with the Toronto police, is Eric Wright's best-known and most loved character. Over the years, Salter has made a name for himself with his cunning detective skills and his determination to get the job done.

However, Salter's days with the force appear to be numbered. He has recently turned sixty and is starting to realize that he isn't as young as he used to be. Tasks that used to be easy are now more difficult and he is convinced that his family is watching his every move. On top of that, there's Salter's career to consider. He hasn't handled a case in months and realizes that he has slowly become an office clerk. He may be down, but he's definitely not out.

A recent murder that has the police stumped is the perfect opportunity for Salter to prove that he is still up to the job. When a well-known and respected lawyer is stabbed to death in his home and the prime suspect, a hooker last seen near the apartment, disappears, the heat is on the police. They aren't having any luck and things get more tense when the victim's sister, a Member of Provisional Parliament and a potential candidate for Attorney General, becomes involved. That is when Lieutenant Marinelli of Homicide is only too happy to throw the case to Salter.

Knowing that the tenderloin district has already been thoroughly searched, Salter believes the hooker will be found much closer to the lawyer's home. The trail takes him into a large poker game organized by the city's top lawyers. Is this a smart move for someone on the verge of retirement? Will he find what he is looking for or only damage his legacy with the force?

The Last Hand combines suspense with the wry humor that marks Wright's stories and is an outstanding culmination to the series.

 

About Eric Wight

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Eric Wright was born in England and emigrated to Canada in 1951. His first book in the series, The Night the Gods Smiled, won the John Creasey Award on Britain for Best First Novel. He has also won five Arthur Ellis Awards-two for short stories, two for novels, and one for Distinguished Achievement-as well as an Edgar Award for The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn. In addition to the Charlie Salter series, Wright has written other mysteries as well as some non-fiction. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published February 14, 2002 by Minotaur Books. 202 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Hand

Kirkus Reviews

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The ninth outing for personable Charlie Salter (Final Cut, A Sensitive Case, etc.) of the Toronto police finds him coping with the stabbing/garrotting slaying of actor Alec Hunter in a lakeside motel.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Is it past time for Charlie Salter, the former head and sole member of the Toronto police Special Affairs Unit (Death By Degrees, 1993, etc.), to retire?

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Publishers Weekly

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Toronto's Charlie Salter, head and sole member of the Special Affairs Unit, which deals with only the most sensitive police investigations, takes on his 11th and not terribly compelling case before turning in his badge, as proclaimed on the striking if somewhat cheesy jacket, which displays an ac...

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