Bank robbing made some criminals famous. Jesse James. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. Bonnie and Clyde. But have you heard of the gang led by Santa?

It was December 1927 in Cisco, Texas. Four men, one dressed as Santa, robbed the First National Bank. It might have been just another robbery, except the Texas Bankers Association recently promised a $5,000 reward for a dead bank robber and nothing for a live one.

In The Last Man; A Novel of the 1927 Santa Claus Bank Robbery, Author Thomas Goodman fleshes out the bloody chaos that ensued through a combination of fiction and fact. Told from multiple points of view, the reader learns the history and personality of the various players in this macabre drama, from the robbery’s planning to the fate of the last surviving robber.

The characters emerge off the page through distinct dialog and authentic descriptions of people and places in the story.

The interactions between the characters suited Texas in the late 1920s. Church-going men were as tempted to kill for a reward as the robbers were tempted to rob the bank. The trials and the public’s demand for justice led to vigilante justice in one case.

Follow along as the robbers discover they become moving targets in downtown Cisco. The fate of each robber unfolds over the hours, days, months, and years that follow. Discover why each robber chose to commit the crime and how that terrible day affected them and their families.

Goodman details his thorough research at the end of the book. There, he sorts out the facts from fiction and his speculation. Despite the criminal conduct and carnage depicted in the robbery and its aftermath, the story of The Last Man, the last surviving robber, is inspirational and uplifting.

I highly recommend this book for readers who like inspirational, crime, and historical stories. Thank you to Author Thomas Goodman and Mainsail Books for the advance reader copy of this fine historical crime novel.

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