By James Kassel
James Kassel, $4.49, 179 pages
The Last Man Out tells the story of John Carter, a mysterious man who wanders into the small Florida town of Newcastle Beach in search of anonymity. Instead, he discovers a quietly powerful family with direct ties to his own shadowy past. Relying on his sharp instincts and remarkable physical prowess, Carter must navigate this deceptively dangerous town while maintaining his own con. All while saving the girl, fighting the bad guys and unraveling the secrets of the powerful Thomas family.
Author James Kassel weaves a complex tale of intrigue that includes both suspense and some interesting twists. However, it doesn’t quite deliver. From a technical standpoint, the book is fraught with distracting grammar and editing errors. And Kassel’s writing style is inconsistent. While the action scenes are well written and suspenseful, the dialogue is often stiff and forced.
From a storytelling standpoint, there are some noticeably frustrating gaps as the different storylines are tied up in the end. Also, many of the characters are underdeveloped. This reader had a difficult time keeping all the Thomas family members straight and was also left wondering who John Carter is.
Perhaps the author’s intent is to write a follow-up that will shed more light on the mysterious protagonist.
Reviewed by Rebecca Parsons