Reviewed by Caleb S.

Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader is an international espionage thriller. This is the second outing of our dyslexic protagonist Jack McClure. Reading First Daughter isn’t necessary, but if you plan on reading it, it’s best to read it first , as Last Snow has many flashbacks to this novel and gives away much of the plot.

Jack is a personal adviser to the President of the United States and he has accompanied the president on his trip to Russia to try and broker an accord. Unfortunately, a US Senator who was doing a fact finding tour in Ukraine disappeared, and reappeared in Italy, dead. Since the Senator was one of President Carson’s leading supporters in Congress, he was worried about what really happened and why the Senator was in Italy in the first place. The President sends the only man he trusts, Jack, to investigate. Before Jack can even get on the plane, he picks up a couple stragglers: Annika, a Russian FSB agent who got herself into deep trouble and Allie, the President’s daughter who has emotional problems and only feels safe in Jack’s company. They all fly to Ukraine and into a hornets nest of international intrigue and danger where it seems everyone is trying to kill them.

Last Snow was not a bad book, the pacing was well done and I liked the main character. I enjoyed most of the writing but it seemed odd that all the main characters were both deeply scarred by past events and were all philosophical savants who shared the same insights into the world. When the main villain has the same thoughts as our hero, even to the point of using the same phrase, it makes me think that the author is preaching a message. I found it to be the most irritating part of the whole book.

[amazonify]0765325152[/amazonify]For some reason the author also felt the need to point out that Jack was dyslexic in every other chapter. The good news is that the mystery and double dealing kept the book interesting enough to continue reading. The few small plot holes weren’t noticeable until after the book was done and I started thinking back on it (the opposite is true with Dan Brown’s books), so that is a point in its favor as well.

Overall, Lustbader does a great bit of setting and mystery writing which keeps the pages turning, however, he is only semi-successful in portraying a ‘broken’ character and uses one prototype repeatedly. While I wouldn’t stand on the street corner trying to get people to read this book, it was a decent read. If you like James Patterson or David Baldacci, Lustbader is worth adding to the list.

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by The Book Report Network. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.