Review of “The Surreal Killer”, by Jerold Last

jerry last

OK–checklist for the South America trip:

Camera–check. Extra batteries–check. Tour book–check.

Handgun and extra ammo–check.


It seems that vacationing with Suzanne Foster and Roger Bowman is not for everyone. Just getting past security at the airport would be an adventure.

However, the two of them, a husband-and-wife detective team, are not going south of the Equator for fun and relaxation. At the request of their friend Eduardo, who has his fingers in many intelligence and counter-intelligence interests, they are attending a conference of scientists in Lima, Peru, to help track a killer.

Along with the sleuthing, there are plenty of opportunities to bask in the South American climate, eat the local fare, and see a number of tourist destinations–along with some areas they would rather not have seen.

Those would be the places where the corpses were – um – displayed. Well, what was left of them,, anyway.

The only thing that is known is that the killer has struck wherever these meetings were held–thus the connection. The rest is left up to Roger and Suzanne, and their brilliant deductive talents.


Part murder mystery, part travel log–it would be difficult to see how these two could possibly go together. But, like peanut butter and chocolate, this story works.

We go from one to another, with occasional diversions into the mind of the killer, easily and seamlessly. A fiction book where one can learn about the culture and lives of another country, while trying to end a killing spree–totally brilliant! I really liked the concept.

As with any good mystery, there are a lot of suspects, several dangerous situations, a time when one of them is unwittingly close to being killed–and the conclusion of the story, where all is revealed and the deductions of the various sleuths bring it all to a very satisfying finale.

I look forward to reading more from Mr. Last. His books have a very original flavor to them.

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