Author Howard Michael Gould started on Wall Street then moved to Hollywood where he has been a screenwriter, playwriter and executive producer and the head writer of TV comedies. Now he has written his debut novel Last Looks and it is GREAT. His lead character of Charlie Waldo might be one of the best all year. He’s quirky, fun and different from most other cops/detectives/private investigators.
Charlie Waldo was a cop/detective/captain with the LAPD who made a big arrest and became famous. Brad Pitt even bought the rights to his story. But then it all crashed down. The arrest he made turned out to be the wrong person due to one of the witnesses lying and they recanting. He got disgusted with the system and since he had money just walked away from it. He bought a little shack on some land and went to ground. He just wants to be left alone. He has his chickens, lake and lives off the land. He has very few possessions and has a daily ritual.
His ex-girlfriend Lorena shows up three years later and wants his help on a case. He refuses happy with how his life is going. The case involves a big-time Hollywood actor, Alastair Pinch, who stars on a top-rated TV series. He’s accused of murdering his wife. When the head of the network puts out a press release announcing Charlie is part of the team to try and prove his innocence. Charlie is not happy it starts a chain of events. Charlie gets visitors looking for something that Lorena supposedly gave him and ends up being beaten up (he doesn’t have it). Charlie leaves his sanctuary to visit the man and tell him he is not interested. When he gets to the studio and meets Alastair he ends up taking the case.
This leads to warnings against Charlie to drop the case or reap the consequences. Someone doesn’t want Alastair to be found not guilty. It leads to more of Charlie getting beat up, being arrested on trumped up charges, a brief affair with a Kindergarten teacher and that things are not what they seem with the parents at the school Alastair’s daughter goes to.
Charlie must learn to deal with the real world again after turning his back on it. This is where the best of the book is. Charlie has been set in his ways for years now and dealing with Los Angeles now is a trip for him and he must get to the bottom of who killed Alastair’s wife and what happened to Lorena and what she supposedly left him.
Just a great, fun book and hers hoping that Charlie Waldo will return in more adventures. It’s available in stores now.
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