Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #8)” as Want to Read:
Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases (Crime Files #8)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,488 ratings  ·  57 reviews
America's best true-crime writer and her new collection of crime stories drawn from her private file.
Paperback, 463 pages
Published 2004 by Time Warner (first published March 9th 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases

Dancing with a Dead Horse by Danielle DeVorBilly Elliot by Melvin BurgessJezebel by Koko BrownThe Twelve Dancing Princesses by Marianna MayerThe Spiral Dance by Starhawk
38th out of 100 books — 37 voters
Oliver Twist by Charles DickensSave Me the Waltz by Zelda FitzgeraldThe Killing Dance by Laurell K. HamiltonDancing Girls by Margaret AtwoodThe Twelve Dancing Princesses by Marianna Mayer
Dance Metaphors in Titles
32nd out of 88 books — 15 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,525)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jill Hutchinson
A so-so read from Ann Rule who is America's foremost writer of true crime. This book is made up of one novelette and three short stories. This novelette, Last Dance, Last Chance save this book from getting a lower rating. It is the chilling story of a doctor who is a total charlatan, loses his license and then decides to poison his loving wife for a rather obscure reason. Not a case I have heard of but it is interesting enough to hold your interest. The rest of the book reads like a series of ma ...more
A. Gough
This book has five stories all based on true events, one main story and four other shorter stories. The first, telling the story of the self-obsessed Antony Pignataro who indulges in all sorts of cosmetic procedures and ends up trying to poison his wife. I felt great sympathy and admiration for Debbie Pigantaro whilst reading this book as she is a woman who is truly blindsided by her love for husband but managed to fight through and escape his controlling clutches forever. I was gripped througho ...more
Christie Stockstill
You probably already know that Rule writes true crime stories. Last Dance... contains about 5 stories. SAdly, as a somewhat desensitized, modern American, the stories don't stack up against other horrific thrillers, until you remember that you are reading about actual killers and actual victims. Then, it becomes a bit disturbing. I haven't read any other Ann Rule books, although someone gave me two more of her books, but I suspect she has better books out there than this.
This book has five stories, the first one a novel and the others are short stories. The main story deals with a doctor who indulges in all sorts of malpractices and ends up trying to poison his wife. This story was a little stretched out and frankly, the main victim (the wife) was too stupid for me to empathise much with her. The story also spent a lot of time talking about the investigators and the trial, things which bore me in TC books. I really look for a story dealing with either the victim ...more
Jan Sydnam
Ann Rule is always captivating in her story telling. She takes your mind and emotions with her into the thick darkness of the criminal world. Her books are hard to put down once you start. As the victim's in the story start running, you, the reader start breathing harder as well.
I can say that this story really made me check into my plastic surgeon. It is a wonder this man did not kill more people! I rate all of Ann's books a four. There is something about getting into the history and mind of a murderer. It somehow makes me feel safer.
Alisi ☆ needs to stop starting new books ☆
Very enjoyable. The first story reminded me of this of Stalin and his son before WWII.

Apparently, Stalin was a horrific father. He had at least three kids, two boys and a girl. The girl fled to America and the boys were killed in WWII.

However, before WWII broke out, one of his sons decided to kill him. Why? Ah, hell! Come on! Why wouldn't he want to? There's just too much to write on that topic.

This was his first of two attempts. The later attempt succeeded (because suicide is much more preferab
Jen Mays
Ann Rule provides a detailed run down of one attempted murder case in New York in which an arrogant doctor tries to remove his wife from his life through slow and constant poisoning by arsenic. This was on top of a lifetime of using and abusing his relationships in every attempt to advance himself. Shortcuts were the name of the game for the guy, and any kind of criticism or humiliation was clearly incorrect and misplaced in his mind. His arrogance leads to the death of a patient in his office a ...more
Ann Rule once again shocks me with true crime, how they got away, how they were caught. This was is not a disappointment.
Mindy Houston
One of Ms. Rule's better collections; another one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" stories.
Ann Rule is always a great summer read and this book is no exception. I did enjoy the main long story more than the short stories at the end.
Rebecca Huston
While the lead story, which tells the tale of Donna and Anthony Pignataro, is a good one, the other four felt like filler to me. Still, compared to most other true crime writers, Ann Rule never goes for the sensationalistic tabloid style. All the stories here are ones certain to send a chill down your spine, and should help you to keep your head when you meet someone that is a bit too charming. Four stars overall, recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
Charlene Gordon
Excellent true crime book. Read in 2009.
What savages some men are!
Ann Rule does true crime best. Enough said.
More than I like the writing (which is better than decent), I enjoy the true crime stories. Ann Rule has scads of these, so I just keep reading them. This particular one got a bit graphic in the plastic surgeon mishaps. I am a really queasy person, and I had to stop reading a few times and switch gears so as not to lose my marbles. On the smaller stories, the cases were much older, but just as interesting.
As much as I love Ann Rule and her way of writing, I found that the primary story of this book, focusing on Dr. Anthony Pignataro, was a been long and drawn out. I found that about half way through the book I lost interest and ended up putting the book down for nearly a month. Overall, I'm glad I read the book. Very interesting. Sad that it's all very real.
I don't mind true crime books, but this one freaked me out. It's a little too close to home being that I am from Central New York. Plus, I just don't like reading about women who get taken in by slick men...and having to read a whole book about it. Yuck.

I stopped after the first two chapters.
Kim Higgs
The main story in the book was great. The little stories were not as interesting. The one thing that was interesting or sad was the fact that every single killer wrote about was released from jail only to kill again. I do not understand why these people are being let out in the first place.
I don't know why I like true crime, and I don't think Ann Rule is a good writer, but there's something really enjoyable about reading these "Crime Files" books. Maybe it's similar to that morbid fascination that makes one slow down and look for blood when passing by a car accident.
Another compilation of true crime stories. The title story, about a cosmetic surgeon who was so incompetent that he killed at least one patient and then tried to poison his wife, was simply horrific. How can you ever feel safe going to the doctor's again after reading a story like that?
Anthony PIGnataro that sonovabitch reminded me so much of ma ex, and of the life i narrowly escaped. Great book! And it amazes me that this is true! I wish some of my lady friends would read this and rethink their married lives.
I read the longest, title story, about Dr. Anthony Pignataro and the people whose lives he affected- creepy, but very interesting & well-written. A good psychological study of a complete narcissist and sociopath.
Mar 08, 2008 Arline rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who are not squeamish
Ann Rule always writes about true crimes. The detail is amazing but can be a little tedious at times. Love the fact least in this book...there are pictures of those involved in this case.
This book was ok i suppose..a creepy old narcisstic doctor with an even creepier invention who was incredibly mean to his devoted wife...and to add insult to injury tries to kill her...smh..
As always, solid reporting and writing on Rule's part. Side note: It's beginning to horrify me how often rapists and murderers (even repeat offenders) get parole. That should never happen!
It was interesting. I had never read any of Ann Rule's books before. I am not sure if I really enjoy her writing or not, or if it was the main case that I didn't really enjoy.
Oct 07, 2009 Sandy added it
I couldn't get into this book. I put it down and started reading a different book. Dana knows if I can't get past page 4, I can't finish or get into the book.
I like reading Ann Rule's books when they of interest to me and she absolutely fantastic researching the crimes she writes about.
I thought Last Dance Last Chance was boring. The only part that I thought was somewhat interesting were the short stories at the very end.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 84 85 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell
  • Die, My Love: a True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters
  • Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
  • Murder In Brentwood
  • The Confessions of an American Black Widow: A True Story of Greed, Lust and a Murderous Wife
  • Before He Wakes: A True Story of Money, Marriage, Sex and Murder
  • Perfect Poison: A Female Serial Killer's Deadly Medicine
  • Whatever Mother Says...: A True Story of a Mother, Madness and Murder
  • From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children
  • Pure Murder
  • When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt
  • Deadly Innocence
  • Never Enough
  • Careless Whispers
  • A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town
  • Gone Forever
  • By Their Father's Hand: The True Story of the Wesson Family Massacre
Ann Rule is a popular American true crime writer. She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders.
At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis
More about Ann Rule...

Other Books in the Series

Crime Files (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • A Rose for Her Grave and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #1)
  • You Belong to Me and Other True Crime Cases (Crime Files, # 2)
  • A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)
  • In the Name of Love and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #4)
  • The End of the Dream: The Golden Boy Who Never Grew Up (Crime Files, #5)
  • A Rage to Kill and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #6)
  • Empty Promises and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #7)
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #9)
  • Worth More Dead and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #10)
  • No Regrets and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #11)
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer If You Really Loved Me And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer

Share This Book