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THE LAST LINE: ROBERT DUGONI

The LAST LINE: MY REVIEW

Power, greed, corruption, deceptions and betrayals are at the heart of this powerful short story. Money and gain play a huge role as we uncover just how far the people who are sworn to protect are easily swayed by the lure of financial gain.

As the new guy on the block Del must learn the ropes and deal with his new partner. From the start you get an uneasy feeling meeting him and you want to begin taking apart the upper layers to uncover the bottom truths.

Two men are found dead in an unusual spot and Del is cast as the lead on his first case with the Seattle Police Department. Reports, the crime scene, talking to officers first on the scene he hopes to get a handle on how to proceed. The harbor expert gives an account and a witness another but when his partner relates what he learns you realize there is something wrong.

Moss Gunderson is his partner and yet they are not equal.

A story so riveting and so powerful that you wonder and realize that what you are reading does happen in the news. Talking to the harbormaster and learning what happened with his partner regarding the two men that drown. What exactly did you tell him?

Imagine a police force with detectives on the take and one who tells Del about a turf war going on between two Mexican Cartels for distribution in the Pacific Northwest. Talking to the Harbor mask he claims the met that came wore masks and that they were affiliated with the last Line with is Rick Tombs drug task Force. The name is supposed to mean the last line of defense between the rug dealers and the citizens of Seattle. How can Del call out Moss without something more to verify what the harbormaster  said? The Egregious is a boat but there is no record of it ever being impounded and things did not add up. Then Moss reveals the names of the two men that were dead and that each man was arrested on multiple dimes and deportations related to drug related offences. But, Moss said this would no be turned over to the DEA and Del had to send him the report and this file that day.

If the police bust drug dealers at some of the local bars waiting till they make the deals, then pull them him and raise the charges. Empty their pockets and check out their cars and take the cash and any drugs they find. If the dealer plays ball and cooperates then the form will not state that there were drugs found and they go with a parking ticket but if not they will go down for drugs. You won’t believe what Del and Faz whose helping him learn and this information came from a man aware. Is then how many on the inside are  corrupt? How high are the sights of those police inside and what drugs are they getting? If what they learn is fact from a drug dealer and is his word good? Then Del is blindsided and you won’t believe the eye-opening revelation as author Robert Dugoni being set up. not only shocks readers but Del learns the true meaning of lies, betrayals and being set up.

The file that was to go to DEA where is it? What exactly did Moss make him understand as what they talked about he claims never happened the way Del recalls and the ending leave you wondering what’s next and where this will lead. Characters that are diversified, strong each having flaws, strengths and weaknesses but one police detective named Del Castigliano who won’t give up until he finds out and ends whatever is behind THE LAST LINE!

A true to life story as if it’s ripped from the headlines as author Robert Dugoni leaves us wanting more.

Fran Lewis: just reviews

Robert Dugoni Q&A

From books to movies to television, police procedurals are incredibly popular with audiences. What do you think is the appeal of these stories? 

I think the appeal is readers and viewers have good guys to root for and bad guys to root against. Readers also like a good mystery. They like to see if they can solve the crime, determine the bad guy and figure out what he did and how he did it, just like the detectives. It keeps them engaged in and part of the story.

Do you recall the first detective story you ever read or perhaps you have a favorite? What was it about this type of story that made you want to write in the genre? 

Years ago, I remember reading Michael Connelly’s The Poet. I don’t know if it was the first detective story I read, probably not, but it was visceral and stuck with me. I do recall reading All The President’s Men when I was in high school, and though Woodward and Bernstein were not detectives, per se, they very much functioned like detectives in that story—finding clues, trying to piece together those clues, and then solve the puzzle. In many ways, that’s what a good detective story is all about: solving a puzzle. I think that is one of the appeals to writers, as well as readers and viewers.

Del Castigliano, the police detective in your newest release The Last Line,  has worked in narcotics, arson, sexual assaults, robbery, and now homicide. He has definitely seen the worst that humans have to offer. What keeps him sane and on the job?

For most police officers I’ve spoken with, they do the job knowing that they are keeping people safe—maybe people they know or even love. It’s a tough job and burnout can be a problem. Most detectives have to be mentally tough and can be frequently rotated to help minimize burn out. It’s one of the reasons detectives and uniformed officers, I believe, are underappreciated. It’s a tough job.

Throughout The Last Line, readers get to see Del at his worst—he faces loss, failure, insecurity, loneliness…yet we also respect him. He is honest, hardworking, and clever. How do you see him? If you were to sit down to have a beer with him, what would you talk about?

In The Last Line, I see Del as a guy trying to find his way after life has thrown him a curveball. If we sat down for a beer, I’d ask him if, looking back, he has any regrets, or if time has helped him put life in perspective and he realizes that what he went through as a young man actually helped him to get to a better place in his life.

The Last Line ends in a way that will have readers wanting more. Do you have any future plans for Del and the larger cast?

Very much so. Del is a central character in the Tracy Crosswhite series, and in Tracy #9, What She Found, the story of Del’s first case from The Last Line comes back to Tracy, who is now working a cold case and trying to figure out what happened 24 years ago.

For fans of your bestselling Tracy Crosswhite series, will they feel at home with Del as the lead protagonist? For readers who haven’t discovered Tracy yet, will they be able to dip right in?

Absolutely. The Last Line is a standalone story that predates Tracy arriving at Seattle PD. I’ve had so many readers ask me for more of Del and Faz! Writing The Last Line was an opportunity to dig into how they got started and what shaped them. I have a thought now about Tracy #10 being a cold case that Del and Faz investigated 25 years earlier and telling the story from both time periods leading up to Tracy solving the crime in the present.

What do you have coming up next?

The third book in the Charles Jenkins espionage series, The Silent Sisters, will be published, February 22, 2022, followed by Tracy #9, What She Found,which will be out August 23, 2022. Beyond that, readers can look for a new standalone legal thriller introducing criminal defense attorney Keera Duggan. I’m excited about that novel and working hard to get it finished soon.

***

The Last Line Excerpt

Del drove from the parking garage into a blustery and cold November morning—cold being relative. In Madison, anything above freezing was balmy for November, though Del was starting to understand what Seattleites meant when they said it wasn’t the temperature that chills you; it’s the dampness. He could feel the cold in his bones. A stiff wind rocked his metallic-blue Oldsmobile Cutlass.The wind had started blowing late the prior evening; branches of a tree scraping against Del’s bedroom window had kept him awake half the night.

He drove from Capitol Hill with the defroster on high and worked his way around the southern edge of Lake Union, noting marinas and water-based businesses. He pulled into a parking lot where Moss stood beside a black Buick LeSabre, sipping coffee and towering over a patrol officer. Moss was almost as big as Del, who stood six foot five and weighed 250 pounds.

Del pulled up the collar of his coat against the howling wind as he approached the two men. He recognized the green logo on Moss’s Starbucks coffee cup, the company name taken from Captain Ahab’s first mate on the Pequod, the whaling ship Moby Dick sent to the bottom of the ocean. The logo, a green siren, tempted sailors to jump overboard and drown. Neither was a good omen.

“Look what the cat dragged out. Did we wake you, Elmo?”

“Funny.” Del had heard iterations of Elmo since his teens, when the beloved puppet first appeared on Sesame Street. Moss introduced Del to Mike Nuccitelli, the patrol sergeant. “How’d you get here so quick?” Del asked Moss. He understood Moss lived in West Seattle, twenty minutes farther from the marina than Del’s apartment.

“I didn’t take time to do my hair.” Moss rubbed the bristles of a crew cut. “I’m like my name. You know. A rolling stone.”

Del knew. More than once, Moss had told him his parents bequeathed him the moniker because as a child he never remained still. Vic Fazzio had said it was more likely Moss gave himself the nickname. His Norwegian first name was Asbjorn.

“Halloway here?” Del asked.

“At this hour of the morning?” Moss scoffed. “Stayaway doesn’t come out this early on a cold morning unless he thinks the brass might show up and he can shine their badges with his nose.”

“What do we got?” Del asked.

“Two grown men. Looks like they drowned,” Nuccitelli said. “We’re waiting for the ME.”

“What more do we know about the victims; anything?” Del asked.

Nuccitelli raised the fur collar of his duty jacket against the wind. “Hispanic is my guess, though the bodies are pretty bloated and their skin the color of soot. I’m guessing roughly late twenties to early thirties, but again . . .”

“They didn’t have any ID?” Del asked.

“Not on them,” Nuccitelli said.

“That strike you as odd—they didn’t have ID?” 

Nuccitelli smiled.“Not my job.That’s your job.”

“How far out is the ME?” Moss looked and sounded disinterested.

Nuccitelli checked his watch.“Should be here in ten.” 

“We’ll take it from here.”

***

About the Story

Title: The Last Line

Author: Robert Dugoni

Page Count: 53 pages

Release Date: October 21, 2021

Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

Summary 

His old life in the rearview, Del Castigliano has left Wisconsin to work homicide for the Seattle PD. Breaking him in is veteran detective Moss Gunderson, and he’s handing Del a big catch: the bodies of two unidentified men fished from Lake Union. It’s a major opportunity for the new detective, and Del runs with it, chasing every lead—to every dead end. Despite the help of another section rookie, Vic Fazzio, Del is going nowhere fast. Until one shotgun theory looks to be dead right: the victims are casualties of a drug smuggling operation. But critical information is missing—or purposely hidden. It’s forcing Del into a crisis of character and duty that not even the people he trusts can help him resolve.

About the Author

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, which has sold more than seven million books worldwide. He is also the author of the bestselling Charles Jenkins series; the bestselling David Sloane series; the stand-alone novels The 7th Canon, Damage Control, The World Played Chess, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He is a two-time finalist for the Thriller Awards and the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, as well as a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for mystery and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. His books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. 

Social Media Links

Website: www.robertdugoni.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/robertdugoni

Facebook: www.fb.com/AuthorRobertDugoni

Instagram: www.instagram.com/robertdugoni 

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About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

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