The Last Songbird

  • Review
By – July 3, 2023

The Last Song­bird takes the read­er on a car ride through the dark and lone­ly streets of Los Ange­les as the dri­ver tries to find the mur­der­er of a pop icon and dis­cov­er who she real­ly was.

This sto­ry is told from the per­spec­tive of Adam Zantz, a down-on-his-luck Hol­ly­wood wannabe who sleeps in the stor­age space of a record­ing com­pa­ny that is going out of busi­ness. He has tried many careers, includ­ing as a music crit­ic and a record­ing engi­neer, but he has not suc­ceed­ed at any. His lat­est job is as a Lyft dri­ver. He writes songs in his head and lis­tens to sev­en­ties music while he cruis­es along the Pacif­ic Coast High­way. One night, his fare is the singer-song­writer Annie Lin­den. Maybe, Adam thinks, his luck is turn­ing around. Annie con­tracts him as her per­son­al, off app” Lyft dri­ver and offers to men­tor him as he pur­sues song­writ­ing. Her last text to him is cryp­tic: AZ beach house 8pm come to my arms.” Before he arrives to pick her up, she has been murdered. 

Adam, for his part, has been look­ing for love and accep­tance in all the wrong places. His trou­bled moth­er died when he was young; now Annie is dead. He decides to pull out his expired pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor ID, uncov­er Annie’s killer, and clear his own name from the sus­pect list.

As he learns the sto­ry of Annie’s life, meet­ing the peo­ple she knew and rul­ing them out as sus­pects, she turns out to be quite dif­fer­ent from the per­son he knew. He stum­bles around dis­cov­er­ing the truth about dam­aged rela­tion­ships and long-held fam­i­ly secrets.

Author Daniel Weiz­mann has come a long way from using his bar mitz­vah mon­ey to start the ear­ly LA punk fanzine Rag in Chains. Thanks to his incred­i­ble knowl­edge of pop music, he has writ­ten a ter­rif­ic debut mys­tery nov­el that looks like the begin­ning of a series.

Mer­le Eis­man Car­rus resides in New Hamp­shire and writes book reviews for the NH Jew­ish Reporter news­pa­per. She is a grad­u­ate of Emer­son Col­lege and received her Mas­ters of Jew­ish Stud­ies from Hebrew Col­lege. She blogs her book reviews at biteofthebookworm@​blogspot.​com

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