The Last Talk With Lola Faye Hardcover – 30 Sep 2010
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'Positively haunting ... walks his listeners to the edge of the grave - where he leaves us breathless' New York Times. (New York Times)
'I have long been an admirer of Thomas H. Cook's novels, and The Last Talk with Lola Faye is one of his best yet: an expertly plotted, beautifully written, compelling and suspenseful book' Harlan Coben, author of Caught. (Harlan Coben)
From the Inside Flap
The historian and writer Luke Paige is signing his latest work in a bookstore when suddenly, in the queue, he spots a woman he hoped he would never see again. Lola Faye. Her relationship with his father ruined Luke's childhood. Lola's husband took his revenge and shot Luke's father dead, and his mother died soon after.
Lola Faye wants to talk. They meet for a drink, which soon becomes a meal, and then another drink. Slowly, painfully, Luke and Lola revisit the terrible events that have shaped their lives.
The story they reveal is one of the timeless struggle between fathers and sons, of longed-for passion, of hopes and dreams thwarted by fate and circumstance. This is psychological suspense at its best.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Last Talk with Lola Faye is based around a conversation between the narrator and Lola Faye, who was a central figure in the violent events of years ago that changed lives.
As the talk progresses, memories return, each one casting light on those events and on the character of the protagonist. And as the memories expand everything seems less obvious, more threatening, as Lola, with her apparently naive questions gradually brings out the truth.
The reader, however, never knows just what is going to happen and who is going to be revealed as guilty and why, until right at the end, when expectations are quite overturned.
Thomas H Cook doesn't go in for action-packed, thrill-a-page, "unputdownable" formulaic novels. His books are thoughtful and powerful and stick in the mind. Many of his best books are concerned with raising ghosts, with the truth of what has happened in the past and has been supressed gradually reasserting itself. Buried secrets are revealed, and with them the damage to present lives because of past crimes is illuminated and explained..
Luke is a fair to middling professor and writer who has come to St. Louis to deliver a lecture at the Museum of the West. It's a dreary, wet December evening, and he doesn't anticipate much of a crowd - there seldom is at his lectures. However, the last person he expected or wanted to see was Lola Faye Gilroy, his father's mistress. Her husband had shot and killed his father, and then killed himself. All of this in Glenville, Alabama, a tired Southern town where his father ran a variety store.
Now, Glenville was not your pretty little town but a place pockmarked by abandoned storefronts "their empty windows staring like blinded eyes onto deserted sidewalks....and a windowless library housed in the basement of the police department." Plus "a trailer park perpetually pulsing in the light of a police cruiser, diesel trucks sitting like exhausted mastodons in red-dirt driveways." It was a place Luke couldn't wait to leave - of course, he would leave because he was considered to be "the smartest kid in town." As far as he was concerned Glenville limited his intellectual prowess; he believed that some day he would write a great novel. Yet here he was some years later addressing a sparse audience, and unable to turn Lola Faye down when she urged him to have a drink with her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a slow development, and I nearly gave up. However, the final resolution for the characters made a satisfying ending.Published 21 months ago by swimboy
I wasn't sure about this book when I ordered it, but it turned out to be well worth the purchasePublished on 16 Nov. 2013 by sweef
This is a gentle stroll of a book, well written and cleverly crafted. I thought I had it sussed about half way through and was completely wrong.Published on 17 April 2013 by John Turner
This is the first novel by this author I've read. I was very pleasantly surprised with the author's skill. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2013 by Perfectionist?
Kept me hooked and uncertain of the outcome. I was sure Lola was going to shoot him. A unique and interesting unfolding of theevents. Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2013 by mrs janet wehrmeyer
Have just finished reading this. It took me more than a week to read it, whereas I normally finish a book in three days. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2013 by Janice Millichap
I enjoyed this story and think I understood it to mean that things are not always what they seem. It encourages me to seek more writing from Thomas H Cook.Published on 17 Feb. 2013 by 6363Sandra
Well written story about a murder - but it's not a murder mystery but about the reactions and consequences of the murder. Highly readable.Published on 11 Jan. 2013 by Dons83