The Last Good Day
Lynn Schulman moves back to her quiet suburban hometown, to raise her family and escape from the pressures of city life. Instead, she and her husband Barry find the illusion of security being stripped away one layer at a time. First, a peaceful morning at the town’s riverside train station is disrupted when a headless body washes up on the banks, in Barry’s sight. Then the police detective who shows up to investigate the scene turns out to be a former boyfriend of Lynn’s, who, it turns out, isn’t over her by a long shot. He begins showing up unexpectedly at the couple’s house, trying to rekindle his relationship with Lynn, and when that fails, he begins to stalk and menace Barry, edging them all closer to a dangerous confrontation that will change all their lives irreparably.
A suspense story, that also functions as a social novel about contemporary mores and the tensions of ordinary life in the post 9/11 era.
“Riveting…Blauner has a fine ability to pile crisis on crisis…He builds a palpable sense of heartbreak and menace. Here’s a suspense novel that truly hits us where we used to live before 9/11: in a warm nest of domestic assumptions…BOTTOM LINE: A very Good Day.”
“Page-turning… Vivid… Well-crafted… Violent… [Blauner] captures the unavoidable daily connections of life in a small town. He’s at his best on unrequited longings and simmering resentments fed by the town’s blue-collar roots and newly arrived, if uncertain, affluence.”
“Compelling… Memorable… Lively, sharp and up to the second… Perhaps Blauner’s greatest accomplishment in The Last Good Day is evoking the feeling of unease we are so stuck with now… These familiar elements of unresolvable ‘suspense’ in our daily lives make Blauner’s novel stick in the reader’s mind after all his mystery’s loose ends have been tied together.”
“More than just another murder mystery… A biting commentary… With the precision of a surgeon, Blauner dissects the suburban culture.”
“The characters are vivid, the secrets dark… A fun and poignant read.”
“His prose style is tight. His dialogue is snap on, and his mix of social commentary and traditional thriller should appeal to a crossover audience.”
“You know you’re in the ‘burbs when a cop’s epitaph for a murdered local drug dealer is, ‘Man, he was an asshole, but he had a beautiful lawn.’ Readers who can follow Blauner’s intricate plot will be well rewarded.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)