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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
The first superlative technique that strikes the curious reader of Brian Cohn’s science fiction/mystery, The Last Detective, is the author’s masterful use of descriptive prose, something seen less and less these days, but guaranteed to place one forcefully and engagingly in a most dramatic present. This uniquely creative future moment deserves precisely such a pleasing and powerful ploy, for we find ourselves taken over by mysterious, condescending aliens – slickly referred to as 'slicks' - and immersed in an old school investigation of one particular alien’s bold and inconceivable murder. If that is not enough to catch any jaded sci-fi or mystery reader’s rapt attention, one should check that reader’s pulse for proof of life.
Detective Adrian Grace is the unduly harried flatfoot in this remarkable book, and he is the narrative magnet through whom Brian Cohn expertly unfolds his desperately fascinating plot in The Last Detective. Grace hates the slicks. Loathes them, actually. But they have an irresistible inducement with which to ensure his cooperation and participation: a displaced family with whom the detective longs to be reunited. Written in the style of exquisitely dark and sometimes morbid humor so loved by classic mystery readers, and with a gene pool of realistically portrayed otherworldly beings – the kind you love to hate, so human is their inhumanity – The Last Detective is that truly wonderful of finds: a smart book to transport you and distract you from the real world it so ironically mirrors. Mr. Cohn has done his job with great finesse and style, mixing genres so seamlessly that the reader forgets in which one he might be so thoroughly absorbed. He is absorbed in both. Cliché time: an unforgettable, great read!