- Last Chance
When multi-millionaire Vaughn Kreisler is reported missing from his yacht, the "Last Chance," Beston's prime suspect is the only person left aboard, the mysterious Amanda Mueller. Beston doggedly investigates Kreisler's disappearance, even when a homophobic officer threatens his life. What Beston finally discovers will change his beliefs about love, truth--and, most of all, what it means to be a man.
Reviewer on Goodreads wrote:
Seductive, twisted, and highly engrossing, Last Chance might be a quick read but it certainly packs a punch with Burch quickly getting into the psychology of his characters. Containing all the expected elements of the genre, but in a tightly clipped, more economical style; his story is refreshingly free of clichés, existing not just for itself but to provide an arena for the personalities at play. When it comes to the dialogue he has a fine ear for nuance, delivering far more than the typical semi-parody of life found in most fiction. He makes us feel that these are the words of real people trying to reveal or conceal themselves in extraordinary circumstances. There’s timely misdirection which is slickly handled but when all of the threads are pulled together you have to appreciate the way in which it all makes sense. Perhaps a longer novel would have introduced an unnecessary level of complexity, but here Burch achieves just the right balance whilst equally as important Beston proves a strong and original character to carry a series forward.
Brief but never the less highly enjoyable, Last Chance proves an enticing series debut and one which should leave its readers eager for more. It is strongly recommended.
Reviewer on Goodreads wrote:
If you like to be taken on an journey, certainly not an ordinary one then A.C. Burch has written "Last Chance" for you. Through a keen depiction of both characters and setting, Burch takes you on a ride with unexpected twists and turns. And just when you think you understand what is going on, you find yourself propelled into the unknown. But, everything does tie together. It's no exaggeration to say that "Last Chance" has all the charm of a "Nick and Nora" ( of the "Thin Man" series ) mystery but in a very contemporary and LGBT-friendly showcase. Go for the ride! You won't have any regrets!
A quick and pacy read, that certainly feels a lot longer than the short story that it is.
A lot is packed in but I never felt that it was crammed in nor was there superfluous text.
Paul Beston is both a likeable and unlikeable character - he is a good guy, hiding his secret until outed spectacularly when he becomes a sympathetic figure as he deals with small community prejudices. But he is also a detective so has to be asking the hard questions.
Amanda is the elusive femme fatale - she has absconded with Vaughn, presumably for his money, then he has disappeared, presumed dead. But she is able to charm all who meet her, including Paul who isn't into women.
Vaughn eventually turns up very much alive and sweeps Paul off his feet.
Then we get to the nitty gritty of the story. I felt for Vaughn, living a lie most of his life then seeing how he could get what he wanted and how Amanda could help him.