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The Last Professional

The Last Professional

The Last Professional

Author: Ed Davis
ISBN: 9781951122256 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781951122348 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781951122409 (audiobook)
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Price: $15.95
Pages: 278

A hobo, a wanderer, a madman - three characters hurtling toward a heart-wrenching climax where their way of life, and their lives, hang in the balance.

Lynden Hoover, a young man on the brink of a new beginning, cannot embrace it without confronting the traumas of his past. Help comes from The Duke, an old loner who calls America's landscape his home. He clings to an honor code, but in fleeing from Short Arm, his merciless enemy, his code is being tested.

At the end of the 20th century few Knights of the Road still cling to their vanishing lifestyle. The Duke mentors Lynden, enlisting old traveling friends to keep himself and his apprentice just ahead of Short Arm's relentless pursuit. When two of those friends are murdered, the stakes become life or death.

Bonds are formed, secrets exposed, sacrifices made, trusts betrayed - all against a breathtaking American landscape of promise and peril. Three unforgettable characters, hurtling toward a spellbinding climax where pasts and futures collide, and lives hang in the balance.

Read this interview with Ed over at BookTrib.

Read the first chapters!

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Reviews and Endorsements

"There's something about the siren song of the rails; many of us hear the call, few answer it, fewer still can hack it, but the song never fades. For those of us who resisted the call, The Last Professional lets us know what we might have missed. Full of adventure, mystery, and heartbreak, once you start this book, putting it down will be as difficult as stopping a runaway train!"
- John Henderson, Bookseller at Wordsmith Bookshoppe

Kirkus Reviews - "The characters come across as convincing, real this informative and adventurous story of a wayward journey into another world."

"Wow, what an ending!" - Don Bartletti, Pulitzer Prize Winner - L.A. Times Photojournalist

"With wonderful, lyrical writing that reflects author Ed Davis' own history of adventurous journeys on freight trains across the American landscape, The Last Professional captures the imagination. With his latest solid effort, Davis weaves an intriguing tale of mystery, sacrifice, and personal triumph. Compelling characters add to the literary mix, potentially positioning Davis as a fresh bright light among American fiction writers. Very well crafted." - D. C. Jesse Burkhardt, author of Travelogue From an Unruly Youth

"Lynden Hoover was a boy who had been abandoned and taken and abandoned again. Like a coda from a powerful song, he was coming full circle when he bolts a lucrative job and jumps a train "to wherever". Onboard a box car in the heat, he meets The Duke, a hobo royal who guides him through the violent and cinematic survival. Finally, a father figure appears from the rough skids of tramp life. Along the way, Lynden becomes "Frisco Lindy, but who is The Last Professional? The last act of Frisco's enlightenment comes in a hobo jungle worthy of a raw Quentin Tarantino awakening. Blood. Love. And a man's self-respect-fashioned by the force of Ed Davis and the rough poetry of life on the rails." - Viola Weinberg, Poet Laureate Emerita & Glenna Luschei Fellow

"With The Last Professional, Davis has done for American railroads what Kerouac did for American highways, and Steinbeck did for American nomads." - Jerry Cimino, Founder of The Beat Museum, San Francisco

"Davis's wordsmithing is masterful. He evokes another time in modern times, deftly defining the wilderness of America's railways and building characters-teacher and student-whose complex stories unfold in moments lit by starlight and fueled by baking powder biscuits, and in quick jolts, screeching like metal wheels on rails." - Tracy Salcedo, National Outdoor Book Award winner.

"The Last Professional invites us to take a leap, hang on, and discover a secret world far from our comfortable lives. In this beautifully written story, Ed Davis draws readers into the shadows to discover a vanishing brotherhood who, despite their raw, gritty, and sometimes desperate ways, elicit our respect for their absolute commitment to freedom. You will never see a passing freight train the same way again." - Fran Braga Meininger, Author of The Years Beyond Youth

Readers' Favorite review by Pikasho Deka.

"The Last Professional accurately portrays the sense of adventure and looming dangers that come with living a nomadic life."

Foreword Reviews review by Mari Carlson

"A man rides the rails in the pilgrimage novel The Last Professional, which proposes a free-spirited interpretation of the American dream and celebrates lost traditions."

Colin Jordan on Medium

"It's the antithesis of cliche, the kind of story that feels like its inspirational roots are as much grounded in a storyteller's unique imaginative qualities, as it is in someone's lived experience."


"Fans of novels that cajole readers to think on a deeper level may wish to ride the rails with this one."


2022 Winner American Book Fest, Thriller (General)
2022 Finalist American Book Fest, Historical Fiction
2022 NYC Big Book Award Winner in the category of Audiobook Fiction
2022 NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite in the category of Literary Fiction.
2022 New Mexico/Arizon Book Awards, Winner Fiction - Adventure or Drama
2022 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Books Top Notable 100
2022 Laramie Book Awards Semi-Finalist
2022 Indies Today Semi-Finalist for Action Adventure/Literary
2022 Literary Titan Silver Award for Fiction
2023 The BookFest Awards, Silver Medal Fiction Literary/Historical
2023 Independent Press Awards - Audiobook - Fiction
2023 Independent Press Awards - Book Interior Design - Fiction
2023 Laramie Book Awards Finalist
2023 Indie Reader Discovery Awards - Winner Literary Fiction
2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2023 Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Awards - Winner Thriller
2023 IAN Book of the Year Awards - Novella and Thriller/Suspense
2023 International Book Awards - Winner Cross-Genre
2023 International Book Awards - Finalist Thriller/Adventure
2023 Los Angeles Book Festival Award - Runner-Up General Fiction

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