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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  7,120 ratings  ·  1,144 reviews
The gripping true story, told here for the first time, of the Last Call Killer and the gay community of New York City that he preyed upon.

The Townhouse Bar, midtown, July 1992: The piano player seems to know every song ever written, the crowd belts out the lyrics to their favorites, and a man standing nearby is drinking a Scotch and water. The man strikes the piano player
...more
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published March 9th 2021 by Celadon Books
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  7,120 ratings  ·  1,144 reviews


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Start your review of Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York
jv poore
The world was not warm or welcoming for gay men in the 1980s. Discrimination, bias and inexplicable hate made for an uncomfortable existence, at best. Not only was homosexuality grossly misunderstood; but AIDS was becoming a familiar fear for everyone.

Repercussions could be very real for any openly-gay man. Life turned from unpleasant to terrifying with the discovery of a dismembered male body. And later, another grisly, heart-wrenching find. More would follow.

Law enforcement was not convinced
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Gabby
This is a really great true crime book about the last call killer, who I knew nothing about. This book was so descriptive and so informative, it felt like I was listening to a true crime podcast.
Regina
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
While reading a back issue of “The Advocate” a few years ago, journalist Elon Green came across an article about a serial killer that terrorized New York in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. How could it be that he’d never heard of these "Last Call Killer" murders? He turned to the internet to learn more, only to discover there wasn’t even a Wikipedia page about the LCK.

Green set out to tell the full story of the crime spree, which was specifically targeted at gay males who frequented The Townhouse Bar
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Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crime, 1990s
”Ten minutes short of three o’clock on a moderately warm Sunday afternoon, a turnpike maintenance worker was emptying the green barrels at a rest area in Lancaster County on the westbound side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. He was looking for aluminum cans to sort, when he pulled hard on a plastic trash bag that he simply couldn’t lift. A strong five foot six, he’d never had a problem emptying the barrels in the six years on the job. What’s in this bag that I can’t lift?

Annoyed, he rooted around
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hall-tbr-1
This book deserves all the stars, and it completely broke my heart because it really happened. For true crime readers, this is a must for your lists.

The Last Call Killer went on a killing spree in the 80s and 90s, and his victims were gay men in New York. Abhorrently, according to the author, the murders didn't receive the attention they should have because of the time in which they happened. As a result, it took decades to solve them.

The book is about that manhunt, but it’s equally about the vi
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Matt
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Elon Green , and Celadon Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

There’s nothing better than a riveting piece of true crime, especially when it’s written by someone who can artfully present the story. Elon Green does well with Last Call, where he explores the murder of a handful of men whose connection to a gay bar in New York City eventually led to locating a killer no one
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Barbara
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it



Author Elon Green

In the early 1990s a serial killer was murdering gay men who frequented New York City bars and pick-up spots, but the crimes got little press coverage and passed below most people's radar. Now that true crime has become such a popular genre, Elon Green tells the story of the 'Last Call Killer', who eluded law enforcement for many years.

The story starts on May 5, 1991, when a maintenance worker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike found a body wrapped in plastic bags in a rest area trash
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Jean
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received this Advanced Reading Copy from Celadon Books for an unbiased review.

It has been many years since I have read a true crime non-fiction book.
The book is well written and meticulously researched. I was impressed at the amount of research Elon Green did as well as the amount of detail he presents. The appealing thing is with all is with all the research and detail the book is not boring. In fact, it reads as if it was a novel. The story takes place in New York City in the 1980s-90s. It f
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Katie B
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Last Call killer targeted gay men in New York. I've read quite a few true crime books over the years, and it's not hard to feel sorry for the victims and the loved ones they left behind. My heart weighed extra heavy after reading this book knowing due in part to the victims' sexuality not much attention was paid to the crimes back then or even now. What is also sad is knowing there are most likely other undiscovered victims of this serial killer.

If you do not
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Paul Bryant
Mar 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This plainly written heartfelt true crime book focuses on the four victims, which is refreshing, of course, and very laudable, yes, but uncomfortably serves to remind us nasty readers that we’re much more interested in the criminal who commits the vile acts than the poor ordinary blighters that stumbled into his grisly purview. We probably really shouldn't be, but we are.

There were four distinctive murders of men, all of them dismembered post-mortem, drained of blood, bagged, double-bagged and
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Michelle
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, And Murder In Queer New York” (2021) is a remarkable and commendable true crime narrative of literary achievement written by Elon Green. In the years between 1991-1993, several men were last seen in a Manhattan gay piano bar, and were found brutally murdered at locations in three different states. Despite the horrific nature of these crimes, the “Last Call Killer” remained at large for nearly a decade. This is a notable and important book of the LGBTQ comm ...more
Michelle
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a True Crime book in a while and this reminded me that I need to try and read more. Elon Green is the perfect author for this book. He meticulously researched the many cases involved and brought the victims to life. His compassion for the victims and the lgbtq community shined through as well as his goal of bringing this killer to light.

Not only did the investigation of the case hold my interest, but I also found the social history of the time equally as interesting and important
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Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
I have long been a true crime junkie, and this is an interesting book about murders that took place in the 80s and 90s that many people have never even heard about.

What I appreciated the most about this book was the author's focus on the victims and their lives rather than putting the spotlight on the murderer. Yes, the reader does find out who killed them, but the focus is more on why these murders didn't garner much of a mention--mostly because they took place in the gay community of New York
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Nursebookie
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love reading thrillers and murder mysteries, but reading a true crime novel, especially this one written by Elon Green, “Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” blew my mind in this truly gripping read.

The Last Call tells the story of the killer who was a pediatric nurse in NYC, and the killing spree that affected the gay and queer community in the East Coast, that took decades to solve.

The whole time I was reading this, I was so immersed into the stories and the
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CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookishfirst-won
Last Call is a true crime novel of a notorious serial killer that stalked the gay bars of New York and how he lured men with his charms into a deadly end. The story occurs during the '90s, at a time where the climate towards gay men was hostile. Because of that, the investigations into the grisly murders stalled until breakthrough fingerprint technology emerges. It is with that new technology that the Last Call Killer is finally identified and brought to justice.

The Last Call is a gripping tale
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Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you so much to Celadon Books for the free advanced copy of Last Call in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!

I am coming to love the true crime genre, except this book reads more like a history/biography.  The author focuses on the victims and the history of, and violence in queer New York City, paying little eventual attention to the trial and investigation of the murderer himself. 

Overall this is not a bad read at all.  I am left to assume that there’s either not a ton
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Morgan Jerkins
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In LAST CALL, Elon Green traces the 90s-era police investigations of interrelated murders of gay men who were picked up in Manhattan bars. Not only is this book intensely researched with insight into the lives of these deceased men from their beginnings to their untimely deaths, but also Green provides rich context into an earlier NYC whose landmarks carry a horrific reminder in LGBTQIA history. Though the material is heavy, Green's ambition and steadfastness make for a read that is neither dry ...more
Beverly
Feb 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
A well-researched and well-written look into the murders of 5 gay men in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the 1990s, Last Call is top-notch true crime. The author thought when he began his research that he would find that not much attention was paid to this serial killer, because this was the time of the AIDs crisis when gay men and their lifestyles were being doubly vilified in the United States. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the Pennsylvania and New Jersey police were on it; ...more
Gerhard
Dec 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’d found the story by accident, surfaced by an errant Web search. Most of these so-called true crime cases don’t stay with me, but this one I couldn’t let go. Once I got past the murders and the investigations, and my own disbelief that it had all been forgotten—a string of killings in New York City didn’t merit so much as a Wikipedia entry?—I became obsessed with the lives of the victims. I became obsessed with the lives they wanted but couldn’t have. Here was a generation of men, more or less ...more
paige
Jun 29, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lqbtq, nonfiction, 2022
"It took courage to stop pretending."

°•*⁀➷

This is completely insane.

The bigotry that exists in this country baffles me. The way that opinions are seen as fact and never corrected, always coming back to hurting another minority group.

Will it ever end?

I think recent events just proves that it won't.

I'm sad. And I'm glad Elon Green decided to tell this story of a "forgotten" serial killer simply because the victims were gay men instead of beautiful white women. I'm so very sad.

When Elon explained
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Doug
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I vaguely remember reading in the gay papers ca. 1992-94 about the suspicion that there was a serial killer of gay men about, who would pick up tricks at various upscale piano bars in Manhattan, kill and dismember them, leaving their remains in plastic garbage bags in remote locations. By the time the culprit was apprehended in 2001 and convicted in 2005, interest in the case had waned, so it is nice to have this meticulously researched and fast paced true crime volume to satisfy one's curiosity ...more
Casey the Reader
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
✨REVIEW✨ [ @celadonbooks #partner ]
The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, the skyhigh murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic, his murders have been almost entirely forgotten. (via Goodreads) 📚

LAST CALL is not your typical portrait of a killer. Yes, there is some examination of his life, but this book is primarily a look at the Last Call Killer's known vict
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Tooter
Jan 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
Julie
Dec 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent example of what I have learned is known as narrative non-fiction. I highly recommend the audiobook as the narrator, David Pittu is truly a joy to listen to. This is the story of a serial killer who preyed specifically on gay men in the late 80s through the early 90s. A time when people were particularly homophobic and blamed gay men for the AIDS epidemic. The murders were horribly grisly, and unbelievably forgotten. According to Elon Green there isn't even a wikipedia entry!

Green u
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Shannon Rochester
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: celadon
Thank you to Celadon for sending me a print copy of this book. I have to admit that some of the books I have been sent by Celadon are not books that I would have picked out myself but not once have I ever not liked one of them. This particular book was about a serial killer who was killing gay men of New York City back in the 80s and 90s. . He killed them in New York but then sometimes the body would be found in other states and always cut up and put into many bags. He came to be called the Last ...more
Dana
Mar 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
I am brand new to the world of True Crime. This is definitely a very eye opening read. The details of the murders are gruesome. It's horrible to think of real people suffering in such brutal ways. I really can not begin to imagine what these poor families went through.

In the 80's and 90's, the Last Call Killer preyed on gay men in NYC. Unfortunately law enforcement was not convinced that these murders were connected and so they failed to receive the police attention they deserved.

While this book
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Richard Derus
Nov 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quiltbag, gifted, owned
Real Rating: 4.75* of five, rounded up

SOMEONE SENT ME A SIGNED COPY! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

My Review
: It's an awful feeling to realize that you're not a serial-killing statistic by sheer chance. I'm taller and a little younger than this serial killer's victims. But I was there, in the relevant places at the relevant times; absent a quirk of chance, I would be dead like any one of those poor closeted bastards.

And it took a straight man to shine a long-missing light on the case. One case, not severa
...more
Miranda Reads
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
description

Hi all! The March Reading Vlog is up!!
The Written Review

3.5 stars

There is a serial killer stalking the streets of New York City but the victims he chooses are the ones that society would rather pretend don't exist.

Beginning in the 1980s, men were chosen and disappeared...often to reappear in pieces.

The Last Call Killer was able to get away with murder after murder and partly it was cause of the victims he chose.

And once the police found out who was missing, the orientation of these men,
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Nev
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, nonfiction, lgbtqiap
Before coming across this book I’d never heard about The Last Call Killer, a serial killer who targeted gay men in New York City during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the late 80s & early 90s. I really appreciated how Elon Green told this true crime story, his focus was much more on the victims rather than the killer. Sometimes true crime stories spend so much time meticulously recounting the gruesome details of the murders and profiling the killer that the lives that were cut short don’t ge ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: 3 quotes from one book, attributed to diff authors 3 49 Aug 26, 2021 10:21PM  
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Elon Green has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, and appears in Unspeakable Acts, Sarah Weinman’s anthology of true crime. "Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York" was his first book and won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. ...more

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