The outside world thinks living in the Hamptons requires a Bentley, a face-lift, and a shingle-style home the size of Buckingham Palace. The truth is a lot more complicated than that. Dig a little deeper and you're as likely to find a saint--or a Mensa genius--as you are a deviant or certified nut job lurking right below the surface.
I know this because these are my beloved clients.
Meet Jackie Swaitkowski, a smart-aleck attorney whose legal turf is supposed to be the buzzing Hamptons real-estate market. But when a new client turns up dead, things take a sudden and decidedly dangerous turn. In a client's pocket is an envelope that contains a shocking piece of evidence that suggests that the death was anything but an accident.
Jackie has bigger fish to fry--like her old flame Harry's surprise return to town--until a late-night car chase changes her priorities. Now she has every reason to believe that the next name on the killer's list is her own.
Chris Knopf has been praised for his quick-witted writing and broad knowledge of the highs and lows of Hamptons life, and his books have been included on best-of-the-year lists complied by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and others. Now, in Short Squeeze, he brings an irresistible new heroine to center stage.
Lawyer Jackie Swaitkowski, Sam Acquillo's friend, turns a brief contact with client Sergey Pontecello into a personal crusade in Knopf's entertaining fifth mystery set in the Hamptons (after 2009's Hard Stop). Hapless Sergey, whose battered body turns up one night in a Sagaponack street shortly after he retains Jackie, was involved in an unequal battle with his sister-in-law, Eunice Wolsonowicz, over the house he and his wife, Elizabeth, shared until her death. Eunice and Elizabeth's family tree contains some pretty twisted limbs, and Jackie, who has limited respect for the speed of the law, presses her own investigation even after someone runs her off the road. Readers should be prepared for some shocks as body parts from an old hit-and-run victim occasionally pop up. While Knopf offers a vivid setting, sharp characterizations and devious plotting, Jackie's starring role doesn't entirely compensate for the bit part played by Sam, hitherto the series' lead character.