Book Review: A Final Call
Reviewed by Jadidsa Perez
Trust can be devastating—or even deadly.
Award-winning author Eliot Parker’s A Final Call explores the dangerous life of a detective with a personal stake in the case. Stacy Tavitt must do one of two things: adhere to the regulations, or do what is best for her family. This novel blazes past similar crime fiction tales to land in the end as a notable story sure to leave a chilling presence in its readers—especially when their phone rings.
Stacy Tavitt is a homicide detective who recently ended an investigation that left her with serious medical issues, lasting trauma, and the loss of her brother. Despite not having enough time to heal, she agrees to help investigate the disappearance of a friend’s lost son. However, the more she digs up, the more she discovers about the disappearance of her own brother and the possible corruption within the police department.
The first chapter is explosive. It is packed to the brim with action. And better yet, the next chapter takes the baton and amps up the excitement, making the beginning of this novel really difficult to put down. The cliffhangers at the end of chapters do not feel forced or tacked on, but well rendered.
The novel also does a lot of small things well, like strong descriptions of juxtaposing settings: a brutal crime scene, the sun setting over a lake. It invites the reader into the world by evoking their senses, both wonderful and dreadful.
I also really enjoyed the way Stacy’s staid, serious personality works alongside her co-worker Austin’s more complacent, kinder way of acting. They take different approaches to not just the case but their internal conflicts as well. Those issues between the two create a great growth arc for Stacy, one that readers can really sympathize with. It’s also a nice touch that the police jargon and protocol is explained so well. It’s simple, fast, and does not encroach on the action.
While the novel does have plenty of unique aspects, there is a bit of a reliance on already well-used police tropes that make it pull up short to its high potential. Stacy’s mysterious illness is one of these things that makes it feel a bit more generic than it could have been. Also, there’s an underlying racial tension that gets mentioned but doesn’t feel resolved. Most criminals have last names associated with marginalized groups, and some areas are discussed as worse than others. Since Austin is Hispanic and the discussion is brought up, I just wish there was a bit more analysis beyond the existence of the characters.
With a fast pace and strong figurative language, A Final Call is a welcome addition to the crime-cop niche within the mystery genre. It’s very beginner friendly and explains confusing police terminology, so readers new to the genre could have a good time as well.
Publisher: Headline Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Police Procedural
Print Length: 344 pages
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