The Last Nightingale

“Every historical mystery tries to hone in on the ideal setting at the perfect moment in time.  Anthony Flacco succeeds on both counts in his first novel … Flacco imagines the chaos in precise and vivid detail while contributing his own distinctive narrative touch.” 
--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times 7-8-07


San Francisco, 1906. The great West Coast city is a center of industry and excitement–and also, to many, of sin. When the Great Earthquake hits, some believe it is the day of reckoning for the immoral masses.

Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Shane Nightingale is witness to the violent deaths of his adoptive mother and sisters–not from the earthquake, but at the hands of a serial killer. As Shane wanders the city appearing to be just another anonymous orphan, he keeps what he has seen a secret. But when his path crosses that of Sergeant Randall Blackburn, who is in pursuit of the killer, the two become an investigative team that will use both a youth’s intuitive gifts and a policeman’s new deductive techniques and crime-fighting tools to unmask a vicious murderer whose fury can be as intense as that of Mother Nature herself.

Reviews and Quotes

   “…Few literary depictions of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake match the intensity and visceral power of those in Flacco's gripping first novel. The author's screenwriting talent shines in this story of the earth's destructive power and humanity's moral depravity. …The emerging maniacal personality, revealed in increasingly gruesome and venomous detail, rivals the Ripper.…Dickens meets Hannibal Lecter. Brace yourself.” 

  “Screenwriter Flacco nicely evokes the aftermath of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake in his fiction debut, a novel of suspense.”
--Publisher’s Weekly

…His vivid recreation of San Francisco and the delightful trio who struggle against the Surgeon make this a winning debut.”
--Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

  “The author does an excellent job of providing a historical novel blended with fiction with the 1906 earthquake as a big part of the story. This one is a real page-turner and I look forward to more in this series. This book is highly recommended.”
--Nancy Eaton,

…A fast-moving tale of serial killing…. where Flacco especially shines is in his depiction of the two children, newly orphaned Shane Nightingale and the plucky girl who calls herself Vignette… It's clearly deserving of a very wide audience.”
--Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

"The Last Nightingale is the beginning of what could be a fascinating series.”
--Fredricksburg News

“Overall, The Last Nightingale leaves you anxiously awaiting the next installment.”
--The Freelance Star

  "A marvelous page-turner of a thriller set against the fascinating aftermath of the great 1906 earthquake and fire."
-- James Dalessandro, bestselling author of 1906
  "Set in a world on the edge of Armageddon, this is a gripping and completely originalthriller that will raise the hair on the back of your neck.”
-- William Bernhardt, bestselling author of Capitol Threat

  "From its opening pages—when we are plunged headlong into the terrifying chaos of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906—to its riveting climax, The Last Nightingale offers an abundance of those page-turning pleasures readers seek in historical thrillers: a time-trip through a richly imagined past, a story that never loosens its suspenseful grip, and a fascinating look at the roots of modern forensic science."
-- Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files

  “Atmospheric, chilling, and with more twists and turns than crooked Lombard Street. The Last Nightingale has it all. I couldn’t put it down.” 
-- Cara Black, author of Murder On The Ile St. Louis