NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Susan Isaacs brings her wicked wit and keen understanding of what really goes on between men and women to a very different slice of Long Island—the Hamptons.
Magic hour. That perfect time, that fleeting hour of enchanted light near dusk and dawn that is perfect for moviemaking, perfect for making love. Perfect for murder.
And into the magic hour steps Stephen Brady, wise guy, tough guy, local farm boy turned homicide cop, and a good man with a very bad life. But just as his luck is about to change, the rich, gifted, and urbane filmmaker Sy Spencer is murdered, and Brady discovers that his prime suspect is a woman he and the victim shared.
A spellbinding mystery, a scathing social satire and a poignant love story, Magic Hour looks beyond the trendy magazine-cover Hamptons’ world of the summer set’s high-cheekboned elegance and the locals’ down-on-the-farm authenticity into the hearts of real people.
Magic Hour is the story of the treacherous murder that rocks them all and of the police detective who is too cold-hearted, too world-weary to ever fall in love—until he does.
Good news for Isaacs's fans: she is back in top form, using the mystery formula that made Compromising Positions a standout, and again exhibiting her wickedly observant eye and flair for ricocheting, pitch-perfect dialogue. The setting this time, the various sections of Long Island's Hamptons (N.Y.), allows her to depict the tension between the hardworking locals, many of whom live on the edge of poverty, and the snooty summer people, phony Manhattan culture hounds and social climbers. Movie producer Sy Spencer is clearly among the latter, and when he is shot by the side of his glitzy Southampton swimming pool, homicide detective Steve Brady is not surprised to discover plentiful evidence of widespread resentment and hatred of Spencer. Among the suspects are Spencer's current mistress and the star of his film-in-progress, who knew she was about to be dumped; one of his ex-wives, a sexy failed screenwriter; and a Mafia gangster who was a childhood friend. As he pursues the investigation, Brady must cope with his own demons, the residue of service in Vietnam: he is a recovering alcoholic and druggie. He is also trying to work up enthusiasm for marrying his fiancee, a boringly nice WASP schoolteacher, and when he finds himself obsessively drawn to Spencer's cast-off wife, he imperils the case and his own reputation. Isaacs spins her tale with brio, again proving herself the master of neat surprises and perceptive character portrayal. 150,000 first printing; $20,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; author tour.