Her Last Goodbye
reviewed by Del Chatterson
“Daddy, where’s Mommy?”
It’s not a question any father wants to hear from his ten-year old son, especially after he’s been up all night looking for Mommy and has just reported her missing to local police officers who think he probably had something to do with her disappearance. Blood stains on his shirt didn’t help.
Her Last Goodbye, an unrelenting thriller by Rick Mofina, proves his reputation as “a gifted storyteller,” and “one of the best thriller writers in the business.” I was introduced to Mofina, a fellow author with Crime Writers of Canada, as one of our most acclaimed, award winning and international best-selling writers. So I’ve read a few of his novels and several of his short stories and yes, he is a master of the craft. Great stories well told––based on his experience as a crime reporter and journalist working with the FBI, the RCMP and police forces from Los Angeles and the Canadian North to the Middle East, interviewing murderers on death row and victims recovering from trauma. He knows what he writes.
In this novel, Mofina, grabs the reader in the first paragraph and doesn’t let go until all the mysterious questions are answered. The tension mounts as Mofina take us through intriguing twists and turns through the family history and previous traumatic events to the thrilling finish with no detours and no distractions, just some intriguing sideroads that inevitably lead us back to answering the question, “Where’s Mommy?”
After a drunken evening and some “misbehaving,” the young father, Greg Griffin, wakes up in the middle of the night to discover his wife, Jenn, has not come home from her book club meeting. The happily married couple have been in love since high school after discovering their similar tragic childhoods and sharing the scars and the nightmares that remained for them both. But they had not yet shared all their buried secrets. Now Greg is worried that Jenn has discovered a more recent secret that he has not shared. Or does she also have secrets that she’s keeping from him? Are the neighbours and friends from the book club and the school also hiding the truth from him?
It’s a challenging and complex mystery with a wide range of possible answers to keep the reader engaged on every page until the exiting finish that first deepens the mystery, and then delivers a shocking explanation. For thriller writers, Mofina has a lot to offer in demonstrating the craft of storytelling. For readers, just enjoy the master taking you on a thrilling ride.