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The Last Act

(Last Act #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Award-winning author Brad Parks delivers a deliciously tense novel of thrills, twists, and deceit that will keep readers riveted.

Struggling stage actor Tommy Jump knows he has to stop chasing applause and start chasing greenbacks. But then he's offered the role of a lifetime: $150,000 for a six-month acting gig. With a newly pregnant fiancee depending on him, it's an
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  687 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Brad Parks
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
There's just something so self-affirming about giving yourself a five-star review.

(That said: I really did like this book. I don't know if the characters were real to you, but they were sure real in my head).
The Last Act is an emotionally driven thriller, seeking out to show you the deception and power of some of the most corrupt criminal organizations in the world.

Drug lords and cartels have more power than you nor I will hopefully ever know. When Tommy Jump bumps into a former classmate working for the FBI, he is tasked with working as an undercover actor in order to seek out answers against one of the most deadly cartels in Mexico—New Colima. The FBI wants to stage a coup against the cartel,
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
After thoroughly enjoying my first venture into the world of Brad Parks—a prequel short story—I thought I would take a dive into the complementing full-length novel. For fans who remember how The Whistleblower ended, this is a wonderful means of continuing to discover more about the life and choices of Mitch Dupree. With Dupree locked away, the Mexican cartel he sought to uncover wants his head, but he was smart enough to hide away some key documents in an undisclosed location. The Feds want ...more
As soon as I read the blurb, I knew this book and I would instantly become best friends. How awesome does the plot sound? I would buy tickets for a movie based on this plot right now. As you can see, my expectations were quite high, which most of the time is pretty dangerous, as over-hyped books tend to end up disappointing me. However, THE LAST ACT was the exception to that rule. This book was simply amazing and will be among my favorite thrillers this year, for sure.

Although the beginning part
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up

When I saw the blurb for this book I knew I had to read it. I can't seem to resist book descriptions with buzzwords like FBI, undercover, prison, the cartels, money laundering etc. Sign me up! The great news: Brad Parks delivered a cinematic, action filled story I couldn't put down.Tommy Jump is offered an acting deal he feels he can't pass up. The FBI want him to go undercover in a low security prison to make contact with Mitchell Dupree, a banker who has been convicted of
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of Brad Parks because he always delivers, each book seems to top his previous ones and they are all already of a very high caliber. He never fails to come up with these questions and scenarios that make you think about what you would do and this time was no exception.

Tommy is offered a once in a lifetime acting job working for the FBI and making some serious money doing so, but he has to go undercover in a prison. I know I would never in a million
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
OH Brad Parks, how you slay me. GUYS and GALS - if you haven't read anything by Brad Parks yet I implore you to remedy that situation IMMEDIATELY! This is my third book by Parks and I am having a hard time deciding if this one or Say Nothing is my favorite. (Also, nice cheeky nod to Say Nothing, haha - I seeee youuuuu).

Do you read author notes? Because if you don't you really should. His note comes at the beginning and states how although this is a work of fiction, it's based on real events and
Melody McNamara
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Rounded up to 3.5 stars. I've been a big fan of Brad Parks for many years, especially his Carter Ross series. The Last Act didn't work for me as well. I liked the premise and most of the characters, and the book was very well-written, as always. However, I thought the first part of the story went way too slowly, and I admit that I was getting bored. The plot didn't pick up until the last 100 pages or so, which was the only truly suspenseful part of the book. I seem to be in the minority on this ...more
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
HBO's 'Oz' this isn't

Too vanilla.
An actor goes undercover in prison to learn where a jailed banker has stashed the documents that could bring down a drug cartel. Didn't i see that in a Sylvester Stallone movie or was in Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or was it some hour tv drama? Anyway not a bad read but it's not something i can recommend. The kind of book dad reads on the airplane.

"My fiance isn't a criminal. He's an actor." -Amanda
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Last Act is the first book in the series of same name by Brad Parks.

But first...there is a prequel titled The Whistleblower that helps set the stage for a suspenseful thriller. Mitch Dupree landed his dream job: bank compliance director. It is his job to abide by Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations with a Cover Your Ass (CYA) mentality. After all, banks are the first line of defense against illicit transactions. He notices suspicious activity and what may possibly be money laundering
Donna Davis
3.5 rounded up. Tommy Jump needs money. His acting gig is about to end and his girlfriend Amanda is pregnant. Then an old childhood friend contacts him about an unusual acting role—that of criminal. Tommy and Danny go back a long way; Danny invites Tommy to sit down and asks him to do a job for the FBI that involves infiltrating a prison. It’s risky and involves being locked up for a goodly while, but the money is enough to live off of for years, and the upfront payment will provide for Amanda ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
An actor goes undercover in prison to learn where a jailed banker has stashed the documents that could bring down a drug cartel. If that sounds like an episode of "Mission: Impossible," it is (might have been Season 5, after the IMF stopped focusing on international espionage and went after organized crime). But Mr. Parks' hero, Tommy Jump (yep, Tommy Jump), is no Rollin Hand, or even Willy Armitage. Instead he's a downscale Ben Platt who never got cast in a star vehicle like "Dear Evan Hansen" ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book is loosely based on a real life banking scandal between Wachovia Bank and a drug cartel.
Tommy Jump is a child actor who never made the big time and is at loose ends after his final performance when he is approached by a childhood friend he has not seen in years who now works for the FBI. Tommy is presented with an offer to earn up to 150k and continue the career he loves. The catch? He will be pretending to be a prisoner in a minimum security prison, befriend another innate and obtain
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I would like to thank Faber & Faber for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brad Parks is a new author to me. The Last Act was my door to his work. This door was blown up and my hours were lit on fire as soon as I opened this novel. There is no other way to describe it!!

Tommy Jump is an actor running out of stage time. His prestigious hours are gone. But it doesn’t mean his life is over. He has a wonderful girlfriend and the kind of mom which make

I found the beginning of this one a little slow and the whole thing somewhat predictable, and where it wasn’t predictable I found it forced. You have to really suspend belief, because there’s a lot of plot lines that would never happen in the way presented.
I have read one other Brad Parks novel and I really liked that one, but this one wouldn’t make me pick up the next in the series, because I think this is the start of a series.
On to the next....
Sue Trowbridge
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thriller featuring a protagonist who is a musical-theater star? Are you kidding me?! Since crime fiction and theater are two of my favorite things, I am definitely in the target audience for The Last Act. “I swear, the moment lasted longer than ‘City on Fire’/ ‘Final Sequence’ from Sweeney Todd—and that’s a thirteen-minute song” is a typical Tommy Jump quip. Tommy is the Tony-nominated star of the “short-lived but critically acclaimed” Broadway tuner Cherokee Purples, “a show about a family ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.9 I really enjoyed this book. The author said it was loosely based on a Wachovia Bank case. Some folks are framed, others just looking to have money for their families, and then there’s “the big bad wolf” laundering with banks and Mexican Cartel.. the book was a quick easy read that kept my attention.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Inspired by the Wachovia Bank scandal from a few years back, Brad Parks' third stand-alone is a departure in a sense from his previous two. Rather than crimes close to home for his protagonists, this is crime on an international scale, with most of the figures involved never laying eyes on each other.

Mitch Dupree was a high-level bank executive who was convicted of aiding a Mexican drug cartel by laundering a lot of money. He's been
Thomas Pluck
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun, gripping thriller from Parks where a down & out Broadway actor takes on a role for the feds and gets in way over his head! A natural storyteller who entertains you with character and compels with twists you never see coming.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-4
Let me start by saving I haven't read anything by Brad Parks before but I DEFINITELY will now. Secondly, WOW! What a great book and I am a picky reader. The story line was fun, the twists, the turns, I had no idea what was going to happen next.
This was a fun, quick read that will keep you guessing and one I would recommend to a friend.
Krissy Neddo
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Predictable and main character was a bit unappealing to me. Not sure why. The ending picks up and has a good twist that wraps it up. If this was to be a series, I am not sure I would read the next one.
Donna Hines
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Are you doing so for applause or a cause now that's the question?
Tommy Jump is tough but Mitch Dupree may be tougher!
What it all boils down too is who wants it more, who wants it bad enough they're willing to turn a blind eye and even risk a well paying job, who wants to get in the heat of a battle against the drug cartel and money laundering banks! Who is this person willing to risk it all for money?
Ahh enter this thickening plot that only Brad Parks could deliver on a silver platter to his
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tommy Jump has just starred in what he thinks is his last big acting gig when he is approached by a childhood friend, Danny, who has an unusual offer for him. Danny works for the FBI and asks Tommy if he'd be interested in going undercover for 6 months in a federal prison. During this time, he will need to try to befriend Mitch, a banker with information that could bring down one of Mexico's biggest crystal meth dealing cartels. Eager to start a family with his fiancee Amanda (an up and coming ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Crime novel about an out-of-work, small-town character actor who is presented with a money-making scheme by an old friend now in the FBI: pose as a criminal, go to jail for 6 months, and try to cozy up to a convicted money-laundering banker to elicit the secret location of some documents that would take down a huge Mexican drug cartel.

The writing is pretty simplistic, but the plot sizzles. There were a lot of crazy twists I never saw coming (but then again, I never do). I'm sure a lot of it
Laura Rash
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was fabulous! Kind of reminded me of an early Grisham. Maybe the feel of The Firm but taking place in a prison. A few times I thought I had this figured out and it flipped a bit. I’m anxious to see what will happen in the next in the series with Tommy Jump (what a name)!
Sujin Stone
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Alison Wallace Projansky
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this suspense novel by Brad Parks, and hope he continues with more Tommy Jump, the actor, stories. It was a bit slow in the middle, but wow. What an ending. I'm glad I stuck with it. The characters were very "real" to me, and quite likable. Kudos.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good, readable story with an original plot and appealing main character (if somewhat intellectually challenged)...well worth the read.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
couldn't suspend disbelief; extra star for me finishing.
S Vanorse
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Predictable and unbelievable, I hope nobody is as stupid or desperate as Tommy Jump was for money to believe the deal the "FBI" was giving him, Google dimwit!
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International bestseller author Brad Parks is the only writer to have won the Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Awards, three of American crime fiction's most prestigious prizes. His books have earned starred reviews from every major pre-publication journal.

A father of two and a husband of one, Brad lives in Virginia, where he spends four hours a day at his local Hardee's, writing his novels. When not at
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