Last Dance


Winston Patrick reluctantly leads some kids in suing their school when a same-sex partner is refused entry to the prom, but opponents will stop at nothing to make their point, not even murder.

Winston Patrick was a successful lawyer who defended the downtrodden of Vancouver’s criminal world. Dissatisfied with his career, he traded in the courtroom for the high school classroom. Winston is barely surviving his first year at a Vancouver high school when his students present a human rights issue. A student wants to bring his same-sex partner to the high school prom, but the school won’t let him.

Winston reluctantly leads his proteges on their first legal quest: suing the school. He never thought that fighting for a student’s rights could have deadly consequences, but as the issue gains publicity, Winston discovers that their opponents will stop at nothing to make their point not even murder.

David Russell’s first Winston Patrick novel, Deadly Lessons, was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel.


Russell artfully lets Winstons own words paint Winston as a bit self-righteous, prickly, and less discerning than Winston believes himself to be.

Publishers Weekly(Jan.)

Last Dance is a well written mystery. But it is more than that. It is a story about searching for a life that can sustain the soul regardless of how uphill the battle should be.

Hamilton Spectator (February, 2012)

This is a solid mystery with a sad message: Hate does kill.

The Globe and Mail (February, 2012)

It was a book that I wanted to discuss with others and see what they thought about it. This would be an excellent book for a book club. (February, 2012)

The first-person narrative, realistic dialogue and accessible cast create an engaging intimacy to this fast-paced social commentary.

The Winnipeg Free Press (March, 2012)

deftly wraps a contentious issue inside a complex and revealing, burtal but also witty, bubble of crime.

The Toronto Sun (March, 2012)

Russell has created some interesting characters and set them solidly in todays Vancouver.

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (April, 2012)

About the Author

David Russell

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

David Russell

David Russell is a long-time member of the arts community in Vancouver. He has worked on stage and television, including performing as a company member with the Vancouver TheatreSports League for more than 15 years. Russell has written freelance for a number of publications, including Maclean's, Vancouver's Sun and Province, the award-winning online news site The Tyee, and others.