Book Review – Last Words by Michael Koryta


A lot of people may have been in the situation where they found themselves saying the wrong thing to a person, before leaving them; sometimes never to see them again. Whilst Detective Mark Novak’s last words to his wife ring true, they are perhaps the only part of this book that is believable.

Enter the inhabitants of a small Indiana town, a dead girl, a psych case (or two) and a Sheriff who used to date the dead girl’s Mother. Mix in a thug or three and a plot that leads inevitably to it’s expected conclusion and you have what is called a Bestseller (or as I call it, Pulp Fiction). Not my favourite genre.

To give Koryta credit, he does have a swag of “Bestsellers” to his name, but not having read any, I cannott comment as to whether they follow a similar pattern. From the first page to the last, I encountered what I term, ‘an eye roller’ and found it excrutiatingly difficult to finish. Most page turners, I’ll read in under a day. This took me the better part of a week for 440 loooonnnngggg pages. In the end, I found myself becoming a little involved and could even see the appeal of his style of writing. Sort of. Like watching a goldfish swimming around in a small bowl, I could view the Detective’s progress with wonder at how and why he kept going round and round, coming back to the dull town of Garrison for more.

If you’re a fan of the this type of bookish navel-gazing, that can be read without having to invest much emotion or even attention to the plot, then this is the book for you.

No, I am not rushing out to devour his other novels. That’s enough formula fiction for now,