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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Millard Salter's Last Day by Jacob M. Appel

Setting: New York City
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Here's a tough book to review. I have to focus on the book itself and avoid spoilers.

Doctor Millard Salter's celebrating his birthday in a most unusual fashion. He plans to kill himself when he's still in his prime. He's had decades of loss and love, success and failure, and now he wants to end things before he faces the changes of being a frail, sick old man.

Before he commits that final act, however, he plans to reconnect with his family one more time. He wants to get the message to his 43-year-old son that he needs to find his place in the world. He wants to visit the grave of his second wife. He even surprises himself by going to see his wife for the first time in more than two decades.

Between a lynx on the loose in the building where he practices, co-workers looking for their own gains, and the surprises that seem to happen in NYC, Millard's final day is truly unexpected in many ways.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Some of the aspects in this story dragged on for me. I found myself too eager to skip sections. Millard Salter's Last Day didn't hook me as I thought it would. I became more interested in the office finding the lynx than the rest of the meandering plot. I also wanted more of Lysander, Millard's son. I felt for that guy.

The writing itself is very detailed. If I liked the characters, I would have loved the book. As was, Lysander was really the only one I felt for, and he didn't appear that often.

RTR's Bottom Line

I've never read one of Appel's novels. I've heard plenty about him. But, based on this book, I can't say I ended up that eager to seek out his other books. It ended up being a book I would have been okay not reading.

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