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Last of the Independents: Vancouver Noir

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Winner of the Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel, 2012

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Drayton runs a private investigation agency in Vancouver that specializes in missing persons — only, as Mike has discovered, some missing people stay with you. Still haunted by the unsolved disappearance of a young girl, Mike is hired to find the vanished son of a l
...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 30th 2014 by Dundurn (first published August 2014)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  58 reviews


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Karl
Jul 18, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book is signed by Sam Wiebe.
Sebastien Castell
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A fun, fast read for fans of classic PI tales told with a contemporary sensibility. Despite having lived in Vancouver for much of my life, this was really the first genre novel I read entirely set in the city. I felt oddly exposed by my constant recognition of streets and music venues, and now I wonder how people who live in New York must feel when so many books are set in their city.

Sam Wiebe's characters feel real, their flaws not superimposed but rather integral to who they are and why they d
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Rory Costello
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was familiar with Sam Wiebe's work through his sharp short story, "Gallows Point". So I was pleased to hear that he had a novel out, and today, just a couple of days after picking up the book, I ate it up on a long train ride.

It's very good in every way. Character development is strong, starting with the hero, Drayton, and moving right on down the line. Everybody's motivation rings true. The Vancouver atmosphere is a big plus. But most of all, the compelling storyline keeps you on the hook, an
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Robin Spano
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, can-lit
Buy this book and read it. Sam Wiebe is an excellent new voice on the scene.
David Putnam
Not for me. Made it to 86 pages. Two things here that did work for me. First opening with necrophilia is a tough pull to endear the reader to the character, the author and the story. It might be that I arrested someone for it back when I was a young cop, first and only time I'd ever heard of it. Truly the most despicable crime.
Second: There are too many space breaks. Each time there is a break it creates a speed bump that has the potential to toss the reader out of the fictive dream. That's what
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Stephen
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One caveat: I know Sam Wiebe personally. He was my student when I was a TA at SFU in the Fall 2008 term. I haven't seen much of him in the intervening years, and this is the first of his writing I've experienced since marking his assignments six years ago. Reading is part of my job description, and this is not the first time I've read something written by someone I know; I do my best to remove my subjectivity, just as I ask my students to do. Now my review:

This is the debut novel of Vancouver wr
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brianna
A few things about this that really irritated me about this book, being that it is set where I live & closely tied to my job:

1. The protagonist is only 29, yet he supposedly has already had a career with the police long enough to open a PI agency, which he's also been doing for a few years. If he had been at least in his 30's I'd have found this more believable, because then he'd have been likely to at least spent a few years in detectives, not just on the beat.

2. When the protagonist visits a s
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Thomas Bruso
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winner of the 2012 Unhanged Arthur Award, Sam Wiebe delivers a shockingly gritty, moving crime novel, “Last of the Independents.”

Vancouver-based private investigator Michael Drayton, 29, specializes in missing persons. When Drayton’s most recent client, Clifford Szabo, approaches him about Szabo’s missing son, Django James, Drayton is uncertain about taking the local junk merchant’s case.

Szabo tells Drayton that on the day he visited a pawn shop, leaving Django inside the running car, unknown as
...more
Anthony Biondi
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasure to read, with strong plot and characterization. It likes to call back to old noir tropes without actually treading on too much familiar ground. In a way, I found it stepped away from the noir genre to make something of its own. The main character, Mike Drayton, I would classify hardly as hardboiled, bordering on softboiled at times, though this, I feel, is just how I would picture a Canadian Lit interpretation of noir. Overall, I'd say this book is definitely worth the read.
David Swinson
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once you read the opening lines of Sam Wiebe’s smart debut novel, Last of the Independents, there’s no turning back. You’re in it to the end. Sam Wiebe brings a new voice to the noir genre; often dark, but with laugh out loud humor and characters that stay with you well after you finish reading. You don’t have to be a fan of crime fiction to love this book. It’s a definite must read.
Brad
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and engaging, a great read. I don't often read crime fiction, but I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put this book down! Interesting characters and well-paced plot. It also really captures the feel of the pacific north-west. Highly recommended.
Julie
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. A grate mystery and a real page turner. Shame I was unable to give it five stars if I could would give it ten.
Charlotte Morganti
An excellent outing by a new crime writer in Vancouver! Gritty, yet appropriately light in the right places. Noir, Vancouver version. Loved it!
Al
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put down modern day noir thriller set in Vancouver. Great read! Look forward to more from this author.
Ashley
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A definite page turner! The setting and characters absorb the reader... And the ending was fantastic! (Do not want to give anything away!) Can't wait to read what this author does next!
Pam Isfeld
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, fresh take on the noir genre, with clear prose, vivid characters and a realistic Vancouver setting.
Col
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w, 2014
Synopsis/blurb……..

Winner of the Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel, 2012
Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Drayton runs a private investigation agency in Vancouver that specializes in missing persons — only, as Mike has discovered, some missing people stay with you. Still haunted by the unsolved disappearance of a young girl, Mike is hired to find the vanished son of a local junk merchant. However, he quickly discovers that the case has been damaged by a crooked private eye a
...more
beentsy
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very, very good. I loved all the local places and there were some conversations between characters where I snorted out loud with laughter. Really enjoyable.

I do wish I hadn't read that epilogue though. That's going to stick with me for a long time.
R.R. Scott
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fresh and enjoyable read. Always compelling, some times funny, some times hard-breaking, with a strong dash of realism and plenty of interesting characters and situations to carry the reader to the end. A great PI story and noir-style mystery. Well done!
Erik
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last of the Independents is like a really good curry. I loved it, but others may find it too spicy.
Kay
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Rhonda Lomazow
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A multi layered thriller that will keep you racing through the pages.intense&chilling. ...more
Trevor Pearson
Received a copy of Last of the Independents by Sam Wiebe through the First Reads Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review

"One of my grandpa's favorite sayings: 'When you've only got a hammer you treat every problem as a nail.' Sometimes your options aren't limited by your tools so much as by the mindset you bring to them. But that doesn't mean that mindset is necessarily wrong. Sometimes the problem really does call for a big tucking hammer blow."


A man born into a family that thriv
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Vontel
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It really deserves at least a 3.5. For the first half of the book, I was rating it as a 5, but somewhere about the 3/4 mark, it could have used more editing. It was his first novel. Perhaps the "noir" part of Vancouver noir became a little over the top, at least for me.

The book is excellent for the descriptions and evocations of Vanvouver, the Lower Mainland, and Vanvouver Island, as well as mostly the genre. I'm not the greatest fan of some of the 'hard boiled' variety of mysteries.

I discovere
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Barth Siemens
Part of me was reluctant to read this book due to its classification as noir, but I was curious to see how the "Vancouver" part of Vancouver Noir would play out. Frankly, I haven't read much noir either. The story was reasonably easy to follow. There were parts that made me think noir might not be my cup of tea. The Vancouver part consisted of stretching the narration to repeatedly remind the reader that the story takes place in British Columbia. In a few places, editorial carelessness also pull ...more
Nada Loughead
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read Wiebe's second book and had to go back and read his first...filled in some information. Seems a little young for all his experience - not sure my kids at 29 would have the same street smarts - and knowing how to outsmart the dark side of society seemed a tad unreasonable. Dark and truthful look at child abductions. https://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/... ...more
Rebecca
Wiebe is an excellent writer. No wasted words. Punchy dialogue. Funny and heart-wrenching. Characters that feel like real people. I was surprised by how bereft I felt at the end, betrayed. By Wiebe or Drayton, I'm not sure. Perhaps both.
Ryan Mann
Really torn. I don't think I would've read it if I'd better understood what "Vancouver Noir" would mean. I enjoyed the Canadianness of it, and overall the plot and characters were good, but some scenes were gratuitous and I really felt uncomfortable at times.
Petra Willemse
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Very much enjoyed this noir Vancouver mystery. It's always fun to read about settings you know and this one was more enjoyable than many a mystery.
Jim Marucci
Not believable, work of fiction for the pretend world.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Last of the Independents by Sam Wiebe 1 8 Oct 26, 2015 12:28PM  

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Sam Wiebe is the author of CUT YOU DOWN, INVISIBLE DEAD, and LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS. He lives in Vancouver.

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