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The Last Kind Words (Terrier Rand #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,208 ratings  ·  245 reviews
From International Thriller Writers Award winner and Edgar Award nominee Tom Piccirilli, this mesmerizing suspense novel explores the bonds of family and the ways they’re stretched by guilt, justice, and the chance for redemption.

Raised in a clan of small-time thieves and grifters, Terrier Rand decided to cut free from them and go straight after his older brother, Collie
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2012)
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mmmm... love this book.

a family of thieves, in various states of leaving the lifestyle behind them, living in a custom-made house where generations-worth of ill-gotten loot is squirreled away behind the walls, growing old and soft together; the older generation succumbing to alzheimers, and the younger ones either trying to go straight, or to make the decision to follow the family trade.

one of their own is behind bars after a spree killing, which is completely against the family code: the rands
I glanced at the register. I could have it cleaned out in under ten seconds. I could wait for the bartender to go get another case of beer from the storeroom. Or I could sucker-punch him and nab the cash. No one would try to stop me. That kind of draw was always there for me. Knowing I could reach out and grab what I wanted at any time. Of course it was. I was a thief.

You really don't expect a family of thieves to have high moral standards, but while Collie Rand sits on death row for the murder
Tales from Long Island

(this isn't so much a review as a rambling of some not quite right in the head people I've known in my college days.)

This book is excellent. Not perfect, but very very good. You might want to consider reading it. It might be the sleeper hit of this year's reading for you (sorry, I couldn't figure out what to call that, this season's reading? What season?)

Karen wrote a good review of this book and it gives the major plot stuff you might want to know about. So you should read
James Thane
This book is less a crime novel and more a meditation on the family ties that both bind us together and drive us totally nuts. After suffering a personal crisis, Terrier Rand left his close-knit family of thieves and grifters and ran away to become a ranch hand. Five years later, he is called home to visit his elder brother, Collie. (It's a family tradition that all of the Rands are named after dog breeds.)

Collie is days away from being executed for multiple murders. Murder is a crime totally fo
Steve Lowe
You there, with that book in your hand. Put that down. Now, pick up this one and resume. No, seriously. You don't want to be reading that, you need to be reading this.

Sometimes you read a book and can just tell the author is trying too hard to make it something more than it is. That is not this kind of book. The Last Kind Words is literary crime fiction that doesn't feel like it's trying to be anything but a great fucking story. There is no frill or filler here, no need to seem smarter than your
The ties that bind kinfolk together are strong, and three generations of the Rand family live under the same roof in this noirish tale. The Rands have a predilection for naming their offspring for breeds of dogs, and have always done so. It almost sounds silly, but it works here. The other thing they all have in common is their inherent talent for sneak thievery. The Rand boys became criminals because they were born to it. Even so, they have a code - no guns, no murders. There are lines you cros ...more
Lee Thompson
Jun 18, 2012 Lee Thompson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Lee by: Tom Piccirilli
Wow. Fucking awesome.
I picked up this novel because I got an email from Amazon recommending this book because I liked Drive by James Sallis. While I didn’t believe it would be anything like Drive the synopsis did intrigue me. Terrier Rand grow up in a household of thieves and grifters; from a very young age Terry had been engaging in theft. He left his family and life to go straight but five years later has been dragged but when his brother is claiming to be innocent of one of the victims of his killing spree. His b ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This story involves kin and crimes. Two brothers one incarcerated awaiting a needle of death. His has murdered eight people, a family of five on vacation, a gas-station attendant, an old lady beaten to death and a young woman strangled in a park. He killed them with no real motive mindless and senseless actions. His brother on the outside is also a thief and tries to piece together his brothers killing of one young girl and other girls recently murdered. He must get to the truth amongst the corr ...more
JoAnne Pulcino

By Tom Piccirilli

This impressive creative title captured my imagination and became so integral to the plot and content of the book that it is one of the reasons I was drawn into and captured by this pitch perfect, action packed thriller.

This atmospheric noir novel has a cast of intriguing and fascinating characters. They are a charming family of anti heroes with all their idiosyncrasies. The reader is introduced to the Rand family who for generations have been grifters, card s
This was, without question, one of the best books I've read in a while. The story of the Rand clan, a bunch of thieves and scam-artists all named after dogs, and the aftermath of one son's murderous rampage, is a smart, dark, intense tale that pulls no punches. The writing is spot-on and each character has a life of its own that you love getting to know despite feeling dirty just associating with them. What could have turned into another family member-turned Hardy Boy investigation into whether ...more
Annie Michelle

This book would make a fantastic movie!
Don't let the title fool you as it did me into thinking it would be somewhat of a light romp....
This "canine second story" thieving family is really, really messed up
A story of a family of grifters entwined in petty crime until their eldest son commits murder and the devastating effects on all who love him.
The oldest son Collie is in prison waiting on the needle for going mad dog and savagely murdering seven people... or was it six and if so who is out th
Benoit Lelievre
Splendid novel. A credit to noirists all around the globe. THE LAST KIND WORDS brings some literary cred to the traditional noir landscapes. The Rand family are terrific characters, bound by blood and secrets. Tom Piccirilli takes ballsy decisions in this novel of including really common crime fiction tropes (killer-on-the-loose being one), but he handles them masterfully. They end up improving the story. This has been by far my favorite release this year and I am very confident this is an award ...more
This was my first Piccirilli book and what a great introduction to someone who's a new author to me. I'm not a huge fan of the crime genre, but Piccirilli's writing is so good I was glued to the pages and really tore through this book. ("It is not the tale, but he who tells it.") I loved the criminal family and the general dark tone of the book, the main character is truly a haunted man and his story is told in such a way as to really inspire sympathy for him. On to the next Piccirilli book!
Shaun Ryan
Pic's latest is literary noir at its best.

If you like beautifully drawn characters with hard edges, this book is for you. It's full of them and they leap off the page. But the real grabber is the pain, the regret, the self-doubt and uncertainty. And yes, the drive and strength and determination too.

The big theme is identity; Terrier Rand struggles with who he is and, more importantly, who he might become. I love this theme, and so does Mr. Pic, if his previous novels are any indication. But the
Michael Sherer
Reading Tom Picirilli’s Last Kind Words is like going ten rounds with a champion heavyweight prizefighter. All you can do while his brilliant prose and beautifully wrought scenes batter you senseless emotionally is admire his artistry. I won’t bother with a plot synopsis, since plot is almost irrelevant in this family saga. That’s not to say that the book doesn’t have one, or that it isn’t compelling. But what makes this book so terrific is the premise that the family business is thievery, and t ...more
Nick Cato
One of the most rewarding things as a reader is to see a writer you admire continue to get better. With his latest crime noir novel, THE LAST KIND WORDS, Tom Piccirilli proves he has not only mastered the genre, but also made it his own.

After leaving his family in Long Island five years ago to work out west as a ranch hand, Terry Rand is called back home two weeks before his brother, Collie, is scheduled to be executed after being convicted of a brutal killing spree. While Collie has admited to
Terry, our flawed hero, struggles with his complicated realtionships with his family. Having deserted the family after a tragic incident (or two), Terry finds himself being called back home after five years of no contact. Not quite sure what he hopes to achieve, Terry tries to reconnect to family, including his brother on death row. From the very first page, you know things aren't going to end well. I was on the edge of my seat just waiting for something horrible to happen. Piccirilli does not d ...more
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

The Last Kind Words tells the story of Terrier Rand and his family of thieves as they cope with one of their own falling into the underneath and going on an eight victim killing spree. The Rand's grip on the life they once lived where family goes before anything else is slowly spiraling out of control.

For such a harsh tale, the writing is both soft and beautiful. I found myself genuinely caring for these characters despite their sins and transgressions. Al
☔Diane S.
The Rand family has long been family of thieves, second story men but thieves who do not carry a gun. Until Collie Rand goes "down under" and slaughters innocent people. Terri Rand escaped from all the family anguish until he is called back by his brother, shortly before his brother is to be executed. This book definitely held my attention from beginning to end, it was an interesting concept told amazingly well. Somehow, at least for me, all the family members are extremely likable although some ...more
Overall, it seems like Piccirilli is trying way too hard. But his most unforgiveable sin is the failure to make me care about any of the characters.

And holy hell, the titular line (delivered at a funeral) was so goofy, I laughed out loud.
Hamlen Mark
The Last Kind Words, a relentless slog through a pastiche of gangster television show (The Sopranos, Law and Order, ... ) settings yields a dirge.

This mystery ends with a whimper instead of a bang.

There are no last kind words to express the time spent completing this novel.
I haven't received my copy yet, just got notification that I had won. 3/1/12
Received my copy last night, and hope to start soon. I have 7 more plus my current read in front. 3/10/12
Started this yesterday, 4/15/12
Finished this morning, 4/17/12

Terrier Rand received a phone call. His brother would like to talk to him before his execution, so he heads home. He hasn't been home for 5 years. The Rand family is a family of thieves that are all named after breeds of dogs. Collie, is the brother in priso
Larry Hoffer
So let's get this out of the way: nearly every member of the main family in this book, The Rands, are named for dog breeds. It's a somewhat bizarre affectation that sometimes proves a little distracting, but don't let that stop you from reading this fantastic, brooding book from Tom Piccirilli.

Terry (Terrier) Rand was born into a family of thieves. His father, Pinsch (Pinscher), was a cat burglar who never seemed entirely enamored of the life; his uncles, Mal (Malamute) and Grey (Greyhound), alw
Terrier Rand's family are "gentleman" thieves - no violence. So when Terry's brother Collie goes on a murder spree resulting in the death of 8 people, Terry leaves town, leaving behind his girlfriend Kimmy. Five years later, shortly before his execution, Collie asks to see Terry. Collie tells Terry that he's guilty of all but one of the murders, that of a pretty teenage girl. Collie wants Terry to find the real murderer. Terry reluctantly looks into the claim while navigating the competing inter ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Judi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Guy Savage
Shelves: read-in-2013
Terrier Rand comes from a family of thieves. He's been out west working on a ranch for the last few years having suddenly left after his girlfriend miscarriages and his brother goes on a murder spree. His brother, Collie, is sitting on death row and someone calls to ask him to come home to see his brother before he dies.

And so, Terry comes home and visits Collie. (Yes, the Rand family all have dog names.) Collie claims to have murdered all but one of the victims, and that one victim was killed
Anton Cancre
Normally, I'd start off with some kind of hook, a generalized statement that ties into my feelings about the book being reviewed. Summary. A well reasoned list of pro's and con's. Professional and clean, if a bit self-conscious at times.

That's not what you're getting today, because this isn't that kind of book.

The back flap breakdown would have you believe that this is a story of a man forced to return home to a broken family of crooks and thieves. Faced with the brutality of his brother's murde
Keith Johnson
So glad I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway contest. I've never read anything by Tom Piccirilli. That will soon change. I read this book in 2 days, and actually would have read it in one night if it wasn't midnight and I had to get to bed. Like most readers/tv fans/movie watchers, I like crime drama. However, I like out-of-the-ordinary crime dramas. The show Grimm, for example, which pits a special cop against grimm fairy tale characters. Or the show Castle, which has a writer an ...more
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