The Last Man by Charles Kenney

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Synopsis

For decades Gerta Wahljak has been haunted by a photograph of ten Nazi officers taken in the concentration camp where she was imprisoned during the Holocaust. Since emigrating to the United States, she has carefully traced and recorded the fates of nine of these men. But there is one whom she has been unable to track--until now. While Gerta waits in her Boston cardiologist's office, she sees another patient who she is almost sure is the last man. She will not be at peace until she knows.

After interviewing Gerta, assistant U.S. Attorney David Keegan is shocked to learn that he is closely linked to the man he's investigating. For the man accused of being a former Nazi is none other than Frederick Schiller, married to a renowned Jewish activist and the father of the woman Keegan loves.

Poised to become U.S. attorney, Keegan suddenly finds his life maliciously uprooted. Someone envious of his rise to power will stop at nothing to ruin him . . . leaking the volatile story to the press and hoping Keegan's reputation is blackened in the firestorm.

David Keegan is a man also haunted by the past, obsessed by his quest to uncover the facts behind his mother's death when he was a child. But as he pursues the truth about his mother, he must deal with the explosive case of Frederick Schiller. As newspaper headlines hurl accusations about Schiller and his wife, the two are forced to relive a dark history that was meant to be buried forever. Now Keegan must decide whether to risk his career to help the parents of the woman he loves.

A gripping, relentlessly plotted story about the ambiguity of morality, the power of an unresolved past, and the necessity of forgiveness, The Last Man twists like a thriller, but has the truth-seeking depth of great fiction. Profound in theme and peopled with characters that possess a refreshing vitality, it is a novel that will breathlessly race you to its stunning, climactic finish.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Charles Kenney

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Charles Kenney was a reporter and editor at The Boston Globe for fifteen years. He is also the author of The Son of John Devlin and Code of Vengeance. He lives in Boston with his wife and two children.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published December 15, 2009 by Ballantine Books. 352 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Man

Kirkus Reviews

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It turns out that that man, David Keegan, has a family secret of his own, regarding his abusive father and dead mother, that he’s eager to uncover—so eager that it has affected his relationship with Diane.

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Publishers Weekly

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Credibility vanishes when Theo Dunbar, Keegan's rival at the U.S. Attorney's office, feeds the Schiller story to the Globe and then blames the leaks on Keegan, a falsehood that their boss doesn't question.

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