Review: The Last Line (Tracy Crosswhite, #8.5) by Robert Dugoni


Print Length: 53 pages
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer (October 21, 2021)

From A newbie Seattle detective gets an education in corruption in a short story by Robert Dugoni, the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series.

His old life in the rearview, Del Castigliano has left Wisconsin to work homicide for the Seattle PD. Breaking him in is veteran detective Moss Gunderson, and he’s handing Del a big catch: the bodies of two unidentified men fished from Lake Union. It’s a major opportunity for the new detective, and Del runs with it, chasing every lead—to every dead end. Despite the help of another section rookie, Vic Fazzio, Del is going nowhere fast. Until one shotgun theory looks to be dead right: the victims are casualties of a drug smuggling operation. But critical information is missing—or purposely hidden. It’s forcing Del into a crisis of character and duty that not even the people he trusts can help him resolve.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Unlike the prior two filler novels, "The Academy" and "The Third Watch," which gave us insight into Tracy and her time on the police force, this one just felt off. Sure, we were introduced to Del and Faz, beloved characters in the established series when they were rookies on the force themselves trying to find their way, but I didn't really get a sense of closure within the story. In fact, I found this one to be wholly unnecessary.

To begin with, this story ended on a major cliffhanger  (with literally everything unresolved, and new issues created). That seriously annoyed me despite having just read the latest full-length Tracy Crosswhite novel earlier this month.  That novel, entitled "What She Found," uses parts of this story almost word-for-word as Del revisits that period in his life to help Tracy close a cold case she is working on that took place during the same time. 

While I understand that this book was likely meant to drum up interest for the next full-length novel, I don't think it ever really "got there" in terms of something that stands well on its own. For one thing, it needed to be more than fifty-three pages (especially if some of them would be used word for word in the future novel), and there needed to be some sort of resolution on something. 

Again, I get it; this would be used in a future full-length novel, but at the same time, certain things would obviously happen between this novel and one taking place twenty-five years in the future, and I needed that to connect more than it did. 

While this one didn't work for me, it may work for someone else, and I would definitely read more from this author as this is one of my favorite series. 

                                               The Last Line is available on
                                             (for free if you subscribe to kindle unlimited)

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