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The Last Kind Words (Terrier Rand #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,662 Ratings  ·  279 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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Jul 17, 2015 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: grit-lit
goodbye, tom piccirilli. i have loved your books so much.

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 killin
May 22, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grit-lit-noir, 2016
“The last kind words ever spoken to Jesus were spoken by a thief.”
“Excuse me?”
He tried to pull away but I held on.
“We were the first let into heaven. Thieves are pardoned.”

The motto of the Rand's family of honorary thieves.
Thou shall not kill, nor use weapons...
But Collie broke that code and is now on death row for killing eight people. Now that the time has come of his final hour, he denies having to anything with the last murder. Now Terry, his brother, needs to find out who
Richard Vialet
Tom Piccirilli is already one of my favorite authors even though this is actually the first novel I've read by him. I've read and loved a handful of his great novellas in the past year and have been infatuated with his sensitive but uncompromising writing. Tommy Pic doesn't disappoint in the full-length novel form either! Here, we follow the Rands, a family of Long Island thieves and burglars that go back generations who's strong bond has fallen apart after Collie, the oldest son, goes on an ine ...more
Sep 13, 2014 Melki rated it really liked it
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
James Thane
Oct 02, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
Apr 10, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it
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
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
Steve Lowe
Jul 06, 2012 Steve Lowe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
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
Lee Thompson
Jun 18, 2012 Lee Thompson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Lee by: Tom Piccirilli
Wow. Fucking awesome.
Jun 24, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, thriller, 2012
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
Sep 06, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it
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
Jul 30, 2013 Sheri rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benoit Lelièvre
May 10, 2012 Benoit Lelièvre rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2012 Gatorman rated it it was amazing
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
Diane S ☔
Jul 06, 2012 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
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
Larry Hoffer
Jan 27, 2013 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 01, 2016 AlcoholBooksCinema rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
When you see a person who meets his brother after half-decade and the veins in his wrist are tricked away, black and twisted at his brother's presence, you instantly realize there are some things unsettled between them and there is an emptiness to be filled.

Nobody grabs an opportunity like a thief. We all doubt our capabilities, but thieves don't. It is rare that we catch someone stealing our wallet. Movies about thieves are very spectacular to watch, but the scene of realizing there's no wallet

Nick Cato
Jun 19, 2012 Nick Cato rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 03, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it

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
Nov 01, 2013 Hudson rated it really liked it
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!
Aug 15, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one - probably my favourite of the late great Tom's books.
Similar to the Cold Spot with its dysfunctional criminal family but slightly better story and characters (including the dog). Also got the sequel so will be reading that one pretty soon too.
Michael Sherer
Jul 31, 2012 Michael Sherer rated it it was amazing
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
Shaun Ryan
Apr 01, 2014 Shaun Ryan rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 22, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Sep 17, 2014 Rusty rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2014
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.
Anton Cancre
Jun 14, 2013 Anton Cancre rated it it was amazing
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
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Do Some Damage: Sub-plots 3 18 Jul 03, 2012 09:33AM  
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