Slick as a politician's handshake. Crafted in the spirit of the best hardboiled thrillers of the golden era yet thoroughly modern and so up to date you could be watching it on the evening news. Dark and brilliant sexy and full of surprises. The Last Witness by Joel Goldman is classy and stylish noir at its very best.
When Jack Cullan, the spiritual heir to "Boss Tom" Pendergast’s Kansas City political machine winds up dead, Attorney Lou Mason takes it personally. His best friend, Wilson “Blues” Bluestone is arrested and charged with the murder. Blues says he is innocent, and Mason believes him because Blues has never told him a lie. But Blues threatened the dead man in front of witnesses, and his fingerprints and DNA are found at the scene. Blues' ex-partner, KC Detective Harry Ryman is convinced he did it, but he has carried a grudge for Blues for years: Harry thinks Blues got away with murder once for killing a woman in a drug bust. Blues left the KCPD after that shooting, and Harry, who happens to be Mason’s aunt and surrogate mother’s romantic companion, has been out to nail him since.
Mason soon realizes that in order to prove Blues innocent, he’ll have to find the real killer as he suspects that everyone from the prosecutor to the judge to the cops doesn’t want to dig for justice because they just might uncover more dirt than what covers a grave. All of KC’s major players are on edge – from the Mayor, ex-quarterback and hometown hero Billy Sunshine to suspected mobster and casino owner Ed Fiora. They know that Cullan kept files on everyone who allowed him to pull the strings on the political, legal, and business community of KC.
Mason is quickly approached by the mayor’s chief of staff, Amy White, with an offer to find and turn over the files; other offers soon follow. Devastatingly sexy Beth Harrell, the gambling commissioner who was in Blue’s night club with Cullan the night before the murder, wants photos Cullan had of her that may just have convinced her to grant Fiora his gaming license. Fiora suspects he was in the files and doesn’t want the methods of how he got his gaming license granted, nor his questionable finances exposed. Additionally, if he had the files, he could control the political machine. White wants to protect her boss; Cullan’s secretary, Shirley Parker, wants to protect her dead boss. Leonard Campbell, the DA, says he wants to prosecute those exposed in the files, but Mason suspects he wants the political muscle the files would bring him.