Black Swan (A Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery)

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9781579622169: Black Swan (A Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery)

Sailing back from Maine, Sam Acquillo, the hero of four Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mysteries from Permanent Press, his girlfriend Amanda Anselma and screwball mutt Eddie Van Halen get blown off course by a dangerous gale. With damaged boat and frayed nerves, they limp into the closest harbor, which happens to be on Fishers Island, NY, a distant and altogether disassociated scrap of Long Island. A summer preserve for the oldest old money in America, and defended by year-round denizens who safeguard their island's insularity with xenophobic fervor, Sam and Amanda are hardly welcomed with open arms. Unless they're the arms of the young and beautiful Anika Fey, daughter of the owner of the Black Swan, the island's only hotel, who's only too eager to fold Sam into her embrace. But feminine wiles aren't the only hazard faced by Sam and his crew. They're soon swept up in big-money intrigue, dark conspiracy, brutality, murder and the machinations of high-tech millionaires, to say nothing of the autumn storms that lash the island with wind and wave. In the years since losing everything, Sam has fought his way back, to an existence that even he believes is worth preserving. And now, bad timing and a broken rudder could result in the greatest loss of all-his life.

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About the Author:

Chris Knopf's four Sam Acquillo mysteries have received exceptional accolades, with critics likening Sam to Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and Robert Parker's Spenser, while repeatedly comparing Knopf to Elmore Leonard, and both John D. and Ross MacDonald. All these mysteries had subrights sales in the UK, Canada, Japan, Spain, Turkey, Italy and China. The Last Refuge (2005), Two Time (2007), and Hard Stop (2009) were finalists for the Connecticut Book Award. Two Time was one of thirteen mysteries listed as Recommended Summer Reading in The New York Times Book Review and was listed in Entertainment Weekly as one of the 50 Hot Picks of that summer. Publishers Weekly chose it as one of the Best 100 Books for 2006. Head Wounds (2008) won the 2008 Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery.

Review:

Knopf has mastered the verbal drill for tough guys in tight situations, and like Sam s nautical know-how, his banter with imperfect strangers is a cut above the norm. (Called out on a tactless remark and asked what s wrong with him, he replies: Chronic inappropriateness. ) This unexpected sail into danger makes for a stimulating story, providing Sam with a lot to tell the gang at the bar when he finally gets home. --The New York Times

Despite its title, Sam Acquillo s fifth adventure has nothing to do with the movies, at least not movies about high-strung, overworked ballerinas. As a favor to his wealthy lawyer friend Burton Lewis, engineer-turned-carpenter Sam and his girlfriend, banker-turned-contractor Amanda Anselma, are sailing Burton s boat, Carpe Ma ana, down from Maine when rough seas on Long Island Sound force them to put in at Fishers Island. Christian Fey, the retired computer genius of Subversive Technologies, is less than enthusiastic about putting them up at the Black Swan, the inn he recently purchased, and his son Axel, an autistic savant, is no more effusive. But Fey s daughter Anika welcomes Sam with open arms and bedclothes. The Edenic temptations she offers are complemented by the arrival of the serpent Derrick Hammon, Subversive s new CEO, with an entourage that includes his put-upon female companion Del Rey; Bernard t Hooft, who s more than just muscle, and Jock and Pierre, who are just muscle. The guest list is completed by Subversive co-founder Myron Sanderfreud, who s barely checked in when he checks out, and his wife Grace, whose role is limited to screaming. When the island s sole law-enforcement officer is beaten nearly to death and her replacement locked in a cell in his own jail, it s obvious that the winds have blown in quite another screenplay, this one from Key Largo, and that only Sam has the stuff to play the Bogart role --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for the Sam Acquillo mysteries: Knopf has a touch I like -- cool, careful, reflective -- and a great ear for the comic eccentricities of the human voice. --The New York Times

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