Last Dance

David Russell. Dundurn (Midpoint, dist.), $17.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-926607-28-3
In Russell’s worthy sequel to 2006’s Deadly Lessons, an Arthur Ellis Award finalist, Vancouver lawyer–turned–teacher Winston Patrick must use his legal experience to help Tim Morgan, a high school student barred from bringing his same-sex partner to the prom. The lawsuit and publicity that follow bring disapproval from Winston’s superiors and harassment from gay bashers for both Tim and Winston. Worse, an unknown assailant savagely beats Tim, who later dies in a suspicious car crash. A potential target himself, Winston begins a personal investigation, only to discover that Tim had a private life he never suspected. The initially straightforward plot takes a number of surprising twists, which suggest that a simple, reprehensible hate crime may be something else entirely. Russell artfully lets Winston’s own words paint Winston as a bit self-righteous, prickly, and less discerning than Winston believes himself to be. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
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