Book Review: Death's Last Run: A Clare Vengel Undercover Novel by Robin Spano

A young snowboarder turns up dead on the Blackcomb Glacier. The local police are calling it suicide, but the victim’s mother, a U.S. senator, is not convinced. At the senator’s request, the FBI sends in undercover agent Clare Vengel to infiltrate the world of ski bums and snow bunnies and find out what happened to Sacha. Clare soon discovers that not only was the victim involved in an LSD smuggling ring, but also the uncooperative top cop in town is in cahoots with the smugglers. With her cover dangerously close to being blown Clare must solve the case before she finds herself in the deep freeze permanently.

Release Date: May 1, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: NetGalley

I really enjoyed the first Clare Vengel book: Dead Politician Society, so I was excited to read more about Clare in Deaths' Last Run.  I missed book two in the series, Death Plays Poker, but thankfully I was not lost due to Clare's reflections on the events that occurred in book two.  

Clare is as different from me as she could be: she flies by the seat of her pants, gets into dangerous situations, even relishes the danger, and really takes life as it comes.  She's easygoing, but very smart and dedicated to her work as an undercover officer.  I love it when characters are unlike me: it allows me to live vicariously through them, pretending I could be as easygoing as Clare (I'm so not).  

Clare has matured both in her work and in her personal life.  She is not afraid to speak up for herself, and I liked seeing her be so open and honest with Noah, her sort-of boyfriend.  I loved the setting of Death's Last Run.  I read the book, pretending I was there with Clare, snow boarding and staying in a mountain town.  It was a stark contrast to hot and humid Texas!  

What makes Spano's books special for me is the writing.  I love her third-person narrative with each chapter from a different character's point of view.  I love Spano's plots, which always have nice surprises, and her characterization.  No one is ever entirely who they seem to be in these mysteries, which makes them fun to read.  

While I did not agree with many of Clare's choices in Death's Last Run, I did respect her as a character and enjoyed her story.  I really liked this book and would recommend it to fans of mysteries and fans of adult fiction.


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