The Last Nightingale: A Novel of Suspense (Paperback)

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San Francisco, 1906. The great West Coast city is a center of industry and excitement-and also, to many, of sin. When the Great Earthquake hits, some believe it is the day of reckoning for the immoral masses.

Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Shane Nightingale is witness to the violent deaths of his adoptive mother and sisters-not from the earthquake, but at the hands of a serial killer. As Shane wanders the city appearing to be just another anonymous orphan, he keeps what he has seen a secret. But when his path crosses that of Sergeant Randall Blackburn, who is in pursuit of the killer, the two become an investigative team that will use both a youth's intuitive gifts and a policeman's new deductive techniques and crime-fighting tools to unmask a vicious murderer whose fury can be as intense as that of Mother Nature herself.

"Every historical mystery tries to hone in on the ideal setting at the perfect moment in time. Anthony Flacco succeeds on both counts in his first novel ....Flacco imagines the chaos in precise and vivid detail while contributing his own distinctive narrative touch.
--Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review

..".Few literary depictions of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake match the intensity and visceral power of those in Flacco's gripping first novel. The author's screenwriting talent shines in this story of the earth's destructive power and humanity's moral depravity. ...The emerging maniacal personality, revealed in increasingly gruesome and venomous detail, rivals the Ripper....Dickens meets Hannibal Lecter. Brace yourself."

"Screenwriter Flacco nicely evokes the aftermath of San Francisco's 1906 earthquake in his fiction debut, a novel of suspense."
--Publisher's Weekly

"The author does an excellent job of providing a historical novel blended with fiction with the 1906 earthquake as a big part of the story. This one is a real page-turner and I look forward to more in this series. This book is highly recommended.
--Nancy Eaton,

..".A fast-moving tale of serial killing.... where Flacco especially shines is in his depiction of the two children, newly orphaned Shane Nightingale and the plucky girl who calls herself Vignette... It's clearly deserving of a very wide audience.
--Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

"The Last Nightingale" is the beginning of what could be a fascinating series.
--Fredricksburg News

Overall, "The Last Nightingale" leaves you anxiously awaiting the next installment.
--The Freelance Star

"A marvelous page-turner of a thriller set against the fascinating aftermath of the great 1906 earthquake and fire."
-- James Dalessandro, bestselling author of 1906.

"Set in a world on the edge of Armageddon, this is a gripping and completely original thriller that will raise the hair on the back of your neck."
-- William Bernhardt, bestselling author of Capitol Threat

"From its opening pages-when we are plunged headlong into the terrifying chaos of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906-to its riveting climax, The Last Nightingale offers an abundance of those page-turning pleasures readers seek in historical thrillers: a time-trip through a richly
imagined past, a story that never loosens its suspenseful grip, and a fascinating look at the roots of modern forensic science."
-- Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files

"Atmospheric, chilling, and with more twists and turns than crooked Lombard Street. The Last Nightingale has it all. I couldn't put it down."
-- Cara Black, author of Murder On The Ile St. Louis



Each book from Mortalis will include the author's special Dossier at the back, wherein the author steps from behind the narrative mask and speaks in detail upon a single aspect of the story.

This is the Dossier from "The Last Nightingale."


The first known investigative procedure that can accurately be called a "criminal profile" is frequently attributed to Dr. Thomas Bond in the late 1880s. The London physician was called in to examine the body of Mary Kelly, one of Jack the Ripper's more savagely disposed victims. Initially, Dr. Bond was only asked to determine whether or not the victim's remains indicated that the perpetrator had any surgical skill, but the doctor was so horrified by the intensity of the crime that he stayed on to reconstruct the event and develop a speculative description of the killer.
This approach was so unprecedented that there was not even a name for this new system of thinking about the relationship between an individual personality and a specific crime. However, in spite of the apparent novelty, the insights that Dr. Bond employed are all, at their essence, part and parcel of the timeless human capacity for wisdom. The same quest drives the appreciation for the psychological aspects of crime fiction. Avid readers of crime fiction have eyes honed for the vagaries of human personality.
Dr. Bond based his work upon (a) inferences taken from the crime scene; (b) the condition of the victim's body; and (c) the random nature of the crime. History tells us that Bond's work did nothing to reveal the identity of The Ripper. Nevertheless, in terms of engendering a whole new way of thinking about the psychology of crime, it was and still is a wellspring that serves anyone who searches for greater understanding of human behavior by accumulating insights into its most deviant forms.
Since the methodology of profiling is one that guides an investigator to a deeper and more three-dimensional view of an unknown subject, those same tools are equally effective in deepening the.

About the Author

Anthony Flacco is the author of The Hidden Man, The Last Nightingale, and two nonfiction books: A Checklist for Murder and Tiny Dancer. He began his writing career as a staff writer at several prominent Chicago theaters. He was selected for the highly prestigious American Film Institute fellowship in screenwriting and received his MFA in screenwriting in 1992. He was the recipient of the AFI Paramount Fellowship Screenwriting Award for his script The Frog's Legacy, and was selected as a winner of the Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship. He then spent a year writing for the Touchstone Pictures division. Anthony is a member of the Writers Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers organization. He lives on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812977578
ISBN-10: 0812977572
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: June 12th, 2007
Pages: 258
Language: English
Series: William Monk