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Susan Cogan is a full time writer and occasionally amuses herself as a graphic designer. She writes things that she enjoys and she enjoys quite a lot. She has been at various times a nurse’s aid, a belly dancer, an actress, a journalist, and a radio shock jock. Her career is long, varied, colorful, often exaggerated and occasionally untrue. Cogan is the author of many novels: Black Jade Dragon, Dragon Sword, Dragon Rising, The Button Man, Tangled Garden, The Last Gift, Heart of the Tengeri, Murder on the Waterfront and The Man Who Needed Killing. Her nonfiction works include: Hands of the Buddha, The Buddha’s Three Jewels, and The Pocket Darwin. She written numerous short stories, some of them contest winners.
on Nov. 03, 2010 :
The setting for this story is Paris, in the hours before the Terror. This Paris is not merely a vile, stinking, dangerous place – it is a sprawling corpse, the people within have killed it, and are devouring it. Into this filthy jumble of darkened streets, Susan Brassfield Cogan places a lonely American woman-child, and gives her the unlikely name of Jubilee.
Published originally under that name, this is nearly ‘Alice’ - fallen into the putrid Seine. Jubilee tumbles down, not because she was careless; Death has pulled her in. This is a farce of horrors. In Paris, with the coming Terror, only a little bit of money could purchase anything desired, and make many horrible things seem birthday presents. To stay alive here, now, Jubilee must act as the Revolution-mad Parisians act. Death loved to follow the Parisians about, for that new fun.
‘The Last Gift’ is flawless. This is a true place painted with horror. Every character is perfectly placed, perfectly balanced against the others. Every villain exposed nearly the instant they appear. The plot needs no twists; the dangers make sense and make you nervous. Every moment that Jubilee is trapped there, you hope to help her escape. At the same time being very ‘small’, and very ’large’, she is being sought – she is being helped, but, all around her in the distance, the city itself has caught up the manic cry, “Off with their heads!”.
(review of free book)