Review: The Last Act by Brad Parks


Release date: March 12, 2019

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Struggling stage actor Tommy Jump knows he has to stop chasing applause and start chasing greenbacks. But then he’s offered the role of a lifetime: $150,000 for a six-month acting gig. With a newly pregnant fiancee depending on him, it’s an opportunity he can’t refuse, even though the offer comes from the strangest employer imaginable: the FBI.

The feds won a small victory when they arrested Mitchell Dupree, a banker who has spent the past four years laundering money for New Colima, one of the deadliest cartels in Mexico and a major supplier of crystal meth in the US. But Dupree has documents that could lead to arrests of high-ranking members of New Colima, including their fearsome leader, El Vio . . . if only he’d tell the FBI where they are.

Using a false name and backstory, Tommy will enter Dupree’s low-security prison as a felon and get close to the banker in the hopes that he’ll reveal the documents’ whereabouts. But when Tommy arrives, he quickly realizes that he’s underestimated the enormity of his task and the terrifying reach of the cartel. Because the FBI isn’t the only one looking for the documents, and if Tommy doesn’t play his role to perfection, it just may be his last act.


Over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of Brad Parks because he always delivers, each book seems to top his previous ones and they are all already of a very high caliber. He never fails to come up with these questions and scenarios that make you think about what you would do and this time was no exception.

Tommy is offered a once in a lifetime acting job working for the FBI and making some serious money doing so, but he has to go undercover in a prison. I know I would never in a million years entertain such an offer but you can easily see why someone like Tommy would jump at this opportunity. Much like the characters in Parks previous books Tommy is such a relatable, every day sort of guy. To me, that’s what makes his novels to great, there’s an authenticity to his characters that makes you think, this crazy shit could happen to anyone, maybe even me!

Parks is the master of the well executed and perfectly timed twists, this one shocked me several times AND at unexpected moments which is always so much fun. It’s incredibly fast paced and one of those truly unputdownable books, I can see this appealing to anyone who likes thrillers in general but also for fans of authors like Harlan Coben and David Bell. If you haven’t read Parks before his last three books come highly recommended by me!

The Last Act in three words: Riveting, Gripping and Relentless

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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