Review of Last Straw by David Rheem Jarrett

Last Straw

David Rheem Jarrett

“Write what you know.” Some writers hear that and take it seriously, some
do not. With David Jarrett it’s almost a religion. He grew up in Berkeley,
CA. and his novel makes extensive use of what he knows. I know he knows
Berkeley because I lived a couple of miles away for 5+ years and reading
this novel brought back many memories.

The serial killer in this novel is Thomas Pickering. He’s a retired Pacific Gas
and Electric project manager. After his wife dies he marries a young sexy
woman he finds on the Internet from Eastern Europe. That is not the
scenario you would expect to give rise to flipping out the way Thomas

What’s the problem? Marja, the wife, starts cheating. His investments take
a beating. The value of his home is affected by a shrinking housing market.
He’s been hoodwinked by stock brokers and financial planners. Tom is a
man of action. He has a solution. He kills his wife, his financial advisers and
others over the course of 300+ pages.

The Berkeley PD is understaffed so 2 patrol cops, Tess Brogan and Mike
Kingman, are assigned as detectives. They’re young, ambitious and
attracted to each other. They know the streets and people of Berkeley but
Thomas P knows them better. He is not an easy killer to catch. The novel is
about Berkeley as much as it is about crime.

The plot twists and turns like Berkeley’s streets while Tess and Mike learn
some things about themselves and each other they would rather not know.
Catching this serial killer takes its toll on Berkeley PD.

3 stars
William S

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