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The Last Kind Words

(Terrier Rand #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,631 ratings  ·  322 reviews
From award-winning author Tom Piccirilli comes a wholly original crime novel introducing the Rands, a vipers’ nest of crooks and cons, one generation stealing from the next. Upon the razor-thin edge between love and violence lives a pair of brothers, their bonds frayed by betrayals and guilt, their loyalty to each other their last salvation.

Raised to pick a pocket before h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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Jul 21, 2012 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
Dan Schwent
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, 2018-books
Terrier Rand returns home, summoned by a phone call telling him of his brother Collie's impending execution. While Collie admits to the murders he committed, he knows one of the killings he's been charged with isn't his doing and wants Terrier to find out who was behind the murder of Rebecca Clarke. Will his investigation tear his family, a multi-generational gang of thieves, apart?

While I enjoyed A Choir of Ill Children, I wasn't super motivated to read another Tom Piccirilli book. I snapped th
It’s hard to be a black sheep in a family of thieves and swindlers, but Collie Rand managed to pull it off by going on a murder spree during which he killed several innocent people including a child.

Terrier Rand couldn’t cope with what his brother did and took off for five years, but with the execution date approaching he reluctantly comes home when Collie asks to see him. Collie tells Terry that while he’s guilty of most of crimes that he didn’t kill one young woman that was pinned on him, and
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it

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 eight people, Terry leaves town, abandoning 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 intere
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
Jun 14, 2015 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 w
James Thane
Oct 02, 2012 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
Jul 26, 2012 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
Apr 01, 2013 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
Steve Lowe
Apr 20, 2012 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
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
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Lee by: Tom Piccirilli
Wow. Fucking awesome.
Diane S ☔
May 03, 2012 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
Jul 20, 2012 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
Benoit Lelièvre
Apr 28, 2012 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
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, 2012, thriller
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 rated it really liked it
This is a damn fine book. I started it while watching golf on Labor Day & after about six pages, I turned to B & said, "This is a damn fine book." He said, "How can you know that already?" but you know how sometime you get six pages into something & you just know it's going to be absolutely worth your time? This involves a family of thieves who're all inexplicably named after dogs. This guy is named Pinscher, that guy is named Malamute, and, regrettably, that girl is named Airedale. Terrier is t ...more
Mar 13, 2012 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
Wowza. This was a pleasant surprise. This is on my Karen-vibez shelf because it's one of the books I added to my to-read shelf based entirely upon the goodreads recommendation of a certain Karen Brissette, somebody who's reviews I absolutely LOVE, but have come to realize that it's a toss up whether or not I'll agree with her about books she loves. I've found her to be a tad bit more...generous with her stars and high opinions than I myself generally am. So I chose this one primarily because she ...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 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
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Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Very appealing, conflicted protagonist and a gripping page-turner of a plot makes this first in the series a must read. Terrier returns home to a devastated family and dies what he can to put it right.
Mar 28, 2016 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

Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tom Piccirilli's The Last Kind Words is a crime novel that introduces the reader to the Rand family. The Rand family is a well established family known for generations for its skills of thievery and cons. Oddly, each male is also named after a dog.

The main character in the novel, Terrier Rand, absent and out of touch away from the family for over five years, has been requested to come home at the request of his spree-killer brother, currently on death row.

The Rand family consists of a group of
Aug 12, 2015 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.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this author and probably would not have but for Goodreads. Whatever genre his books were listed under, they missed me. I surprised myself by enjoying reading about a family of criminals. I would have bopped right into the following book about Terrier Rand, the last one this author wrote before his death, I believe...but I have a bunch in my reading queue I must read before expiration of loans.
Some pretty hard core crime gets spotlighted within a family that previously had no
Larry H
Jan 24, 2013 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
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2013
Terry Rand has generational crime imbedded in his DNA; his family an accomplished band of thieves, his brother a vicious murderer on death row. Following his brothers conviction, Rand hits the road and seeks the straight and narrow only to be called back into his former life when news of his brothers execution reaches him and his brother, Collie, lures him into proving his innocence for one of the alleged murders, a young girl.

Tom Piccirilli is one of my favourite authors and THE LAST KIND words
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, thriller
Part of a family of small-time thieves and grifters, Terrier (Terry) Rand flees west after his older brother, Collie, goes on a killing spree, abandoning the love of his life Kimmy, who has just miscarried. Days before his brother's scheduled execution, Collie asks Terry to return home to help stop a serial killer, who actually murdered one of his victims. Collie's claim is partially substantiated by the kisses on all but one of the victims. Terry comes back to town and starts investigating, wor ...more
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Thomas Piccirilli (May 27, 1965 – July 11, 2015) was an American novelist and short story writer.

Piccirilli sold over 150 stories in the mystery, thriller, horror, erotica, and science fiction fields. He was a two-time winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for "Best Paperback Original" (2008, 2010). He was a four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He was also a finalist for the 20

Other books in the series

Terrier Rand (2 books)
  • The Last Whisper in the Dark (Terrier Rand, #2)

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