A Book Spy Review: ‘The Last Act’ by Brad Parks


The Last ActWhen twenty-something-year-old struggling actor Tommy Jump, who hasn’t had any coveted jobs since he was a child, is approached by an old friend and offered $150,000 to play the critical role of Peter Goodrich, a high school teacher who was underwater on his mortgage and got caught robbing a bank, he can’t say yes fast enough. There’s just one catch. 

The role isn’t for a movie or film production, and Hollywood ain’t funding his paycheck.

The FBI is. 

Danny Ruiz, now an FBI agent who went to school with Tommy way back in the day, sees his longtime friend as the perfect way to get close to a man named Mitchell Dupree. A banker caught laundering money for New Colima, one of the most vicious cartels in Mexico and a major supplier of crystal meth, Dupree is believed to have documents that could finally bring down New Colima’s untouchable leader, El Vio. But he ain’t talking, and instead of taking a deal, Mitch Dupree is currently sitting in a minimum security West Virginia prison with his mouth shut to protect his family from El Vio and his men. 

Motivated in part because his fiancee is pregnant with their first child and because the acting gigs have largely dried up now that he’s too old to play a kid on screen, Tommy agrees to spend six months undercover in the same prison as Dupree, where he’ll need to get close to the banker in hopes of coaxing him into disclosing the location of the sought-after documents the FBI is after. With the game set, Tommy (posing as Goodrich) pretends to plead guilty, then readies himself for the task at hand. Armed with the knowledge that the FBI will step in to remove him from the prison any time he feels his life is in danger, Jump walks into Morgantown Prison ready to deliver the best, most compelling performance of his life . . . only to quickly discover that nothing is quite what it seems and that one slip-up could cost him everything. 

Brad Parks reached new levels of success a couple of years ago with his hit, ironically-titled thriller, Say Nothing, the book everyone was talking about in 2017. That set the bar impossibly high for him moving forward, and while last year’s Closer Than You Know was good, it fell a tad short of the expectations set the year before. Now, Parks has rebounded in spectacular fashion, proving he’s far from a one-hit-wonder by delivering a devilishly good story with more twists and turns than Say Nothing and enough edge-of-your-seat suspense to fill two books.

Buckle up and hold on tight . . . Brad Parks’ The Last Act is the kind of heart-pumping thriller that you’ll stay up all night to read and then spend another day telling everyone you know all about it. 

Book Details

Author: Brad Parks
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1524743534
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 7.5/10



Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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