…..we readily offer our honest opinion and assessment of the book to our customers which can only be defined as AMAZING, SUSPENSEFUL, and INFORMATIVE writing.
–C at Vanderbilt Bookstore
This is a fabulous book by Martha Smith Tate. She lived it.
Murder, trial, prejudice in the south. It is a page turner.
With all the quotes from her interviews and the newspaper accounts, the book reads like a screenplay already! I developed a visceral dislike for both defense attorneys just reading the book! Throw in the defendant and you have a trio of pretty strong villains. And Horatio Alger couldn’t have made up Haynie Gourley. Left by his parents in a train with his siblings, only to become an uber-successful businessman? Who would believe that? You are correct, this story, which I never heard before you enlightened me, should be told. I can report that “The Last Ride” is, indeed, a spell binder and a page turner. Thank you for the recommendation. Please feel free to forward. This is the best book I’ve read all year!!!
Wow!!!! What a book, THE LAST RIDE. I could not put it down. I am not a fast reader and I finished it in one weekend.
I cannot believe the ending!
I have probably given a dozen of this book to friends!
I just finished reading - devouring, actually - "The Last Ride." What a wonderful and intelligently written book. . . "The Last Ride" is the best book I have read in ages.
I just want you to know again that the book has affected me unlike anything I’ve read in years. It’s kept me up nights, reading and pondering what I just read.
For the past three days I’ve been unable to tear myself away from The Last Ride, or to stop talking about it. . . . . I’m so grateful for your thorough work, amazing research and wonderful writing in recreating the story in all its detail. It’s one of the finest, most memorable books I’ve ever picked up.
Should be made into a movie.
– Dr. B.A.
Thank you for writing this book, Mrs.Tate. I've long wondered about this case….. and now, I have a really good idea of the story, the time, the people involved and what really happened.
My grandmother is Colleen Margaret Richey the daughter of Margaret Gourley the sister of William Haynie Gourley. I am an amateur genealogist who has always been interested in my family on both sides of my family tree….. Also, I know there's more to the story about both Annece Haynie Bucher and William Peter Gourley.
I remember so vividly - the division in the community, the fascination by the press, and the trial. Although I have only general memories of the trial - what I had time to read in the newspapers. Now, your book has filled in all the gaps.
. . . . . you did a wonderful job of telling the story, your diligence was nothing short of forensic science at its best, and it is clear you were careful to balance the human story behind the individuals regardless of which side of the courtroom they were seated. . . . . .
Thank you so much for the experience of reading The Last Ride. Incredibly riveting. I am not a reader and yet could not put it down. Started Saturday morning and, even breaking for dinner out, finished Sunday morning.
I was nine years old in the Summer of 1969 and remember the trial well. My dad, the Chief Clerk at Juvenile Court, took me to the courthouse on one of the Saturdays, hoping we might get a seat so I could see two legendary lawyers at work. (We didn’t get in.) I read a great deal, and this book has been as “un-put-down-able” as anything I’ve read in years. Thank you for doing justice to an extraordinary tale!
This story has been so on my mind since I read it- as well as a friend who is 88 and never reads. We have talked about it nonstop. It felt as though I knew all of them.
. . . . the main thing I want you to know is that you are the only person who could have written this story fairly and with such sensitivity. I truly believe your life's arc has taken you to this moment and I'm so glad you seized it. You were meant to write this.
It is a remarkable story you captured so well. You have been fair to the truth and reported this story with all its drama ... from dealer.. to murder...to courtroom in an amazing way. . . . .loved your book more than any book I've read this year.... your hard work on this fabulous book is an appreciated gift. THANK YOU.
My father was an automobile mechanic at Capitol Chevrolet from the late 40's until 1969. Haynie Gourley was his friend. Many years when Daddy took his vacation, Mr. Gourley would let him use one of the demo cars. My Ohio cousins would think we had a new car every year!
I just finished reading THE LAST RIDE. Thank you so much for writing it. Such a tragedy, the truth needed revealing. You are an excellent writer!
I want to describe something to you that was not in your book. On the last day of work before Thanksgiving Mr. Gourley invited his men to bring their children to work. When it was time to leave, the men would line up with their children in front of them. Mr. Gourley would come down the line and speak to each man and give each child a silver dollar. I will never forget it.
. . . . I loved the book. The trial portion was horrifying to read. . . . Anyway, this was one of the best books I've read in a long time. You did a wonderful job and I hope you keep writing.
Just finished the audio version of The Last Ride this afternoon .. I'm entering my 22nd year with the Metro Nashville Police Dept - so having worked these streets for over two decades as well as growing up in the area - this narrative was absolutely fascinating . . . . I thoroughly relished listening to your book. It started as just something to keep me occupied on my commute to and from work each day. However, as I ventured further into the piece, I found myself driving out to the land we just bought in Rockvale, parking out by the pond in the evening and listening for another hour. Which is unusual for me as I typically steer clear of any true crime related materials / shows etc after doing this job for so long. . . . I had so many good friends commenting about how I just HAD TO READ it... so I caved and was immediately enthralled. . . . Thank you so much for the gift you have delivered to everyone! I have always believed that anyone who has the ability to captivate an audience to the extent of being able to stir emotional reactions through words, music, or other arts wields a very powerful and beautiful talent.
– M.F. (MNPD)
This story could make a great movie script.