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Hard Stop (Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery) Hardcover – May 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sam Acquillo, who left his job as head of the Technical Services and Support Division of Con Globe for the humdrum life of a skilled carpenter in the Hamptons, is still a magnet for trouble in Knopf's rewarding fourth mystery (after 2008's Head Wounds). George Donovan, Con Globe's chairman of the board, tries a carrot and stick approach to get Acquillo to find his missing girlfriend, Iku Kinjo, a brilliant and compelling consultant. Half of that ploy works, and Acquillo is drawn back into the deadly machinations of corporate intrigue, where the payoff may be wealth or death. Knopf blends familiar elements (cop ally; cop nemesis; bad ex-wife; beautiful, independent girlfriend) in unusually pleasing fashion and adds plenty of original touches as well. Aside from his surprising computer illiteracy, Acquillo is a savvy operator who loves problem solving and has the tenacity of a pit bull. His penchant for intriguing predicaments bodes well for a long and successful series. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. In his fourth outing (after Head Wounds), corporate dropout-turned-carpenter/PI Sam Acquillo is forced to look for the missing girlfriend of his former boss, George Donovan. As Sam traces the successful young businesswoman to a house on Long Island shared with a bunch of Gen-Xers from Manhattan, he uncovers what looks like dirty business dealings. Knopf is very much a contemporary crime writer, revealing the dangers of the world of big deals, commercial espionage, and the barracudas hanging out for all they can get. For readers who enjoy hard-boiled mysteries in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Robert Parker. [Knopf has contracted a two-book spinoff series with St. Martin's based on Acquillo's friend Jackie Swaitkowski.—Ed.]
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Press (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157962183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579621834
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Knopf is the author of Dead Anyway (winner of the 2013 Nero Award), Cries of the Lost and the Sam Acquillo mystery series, including The Last Refuge, Two Time, Head Wounds (which won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Mystery), Hard Stop, and Black Swan.

Chris has been writing himself out of trouble since he talked a teacher into accepting a short story in lieu of an essay, and an essay in lieu of a multiple choice exam. A college professor wrote a comment on a friend's paper that would have also applied to him: "You write well, which is good because you have very little command of the subject matter."

To support his fiction habit he started working in marketing communications. That evolved into a career as an advertising copywriter and later a creative director at Mintz & Hoke Advertising and PR, which he and his wife Mary Farrell took over in 2000.

His preferred environment involves a lot of saltwater, having summered as a youth on the Jersey Shore. He lives with his wife Mary Farrell in Connecticut and Southampton, NY, where he sets sail on the Little Peconic Bay.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First Sentence: I didn't like anything about that big, dumb, ugly SUV.

Sam Acquillo is hired by his former boss, George Donovan, to find his missing girlfriend, Iku Kinjo. He tracks her to a house on Long Island, where a number of young successful Manhattan business people are living. However, it soon becomes apparent there is more than a missing girl involved in this case.

I wasn't as taken by this book as I have been by previous books in the series. I do like the character of Sam, but am getting a bit bored with the `can't-make-a-commitment' protagonist. In some ways, his secondary characters-- independent girlfriend Amanda; friend and lawyer, Jackie Swaitkowski; Joe Sullivan, the cop friend; obstructionist Officer Orlovsky and Eddie Van Halen, the mutt--are the more interesting characters. Also, in this book, the question of whether Sam would finally get what is owed him, was more suspenseful than the actual mystery.

For all that, it's not a bad book; I just felt his others were better. I did very much appreciate his homage to the late author, Philip R. Craig. The greatest evidence of this is that, two weeks after finishing this, I couldn't remember the plot where I do remember the plots of the previous books. But I'm not giving up on either Sam, or Mr. Knopf and I look forward to reading his next book.

HARD STOP (Unl. Inves-Sam Acquillo-NY-Cont) - G
Knopf, Chris - 4th in series
The Permanent Press, 2009, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9781579621834
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Calabro on March 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was the best of the 4 Sam aquillo novels. I love them all and look forward to reading a new one every spring. Maybe i love the character and the setting so much that it was just so much fun to be back on the east end with sam and his lawn chairs, tumblers of vodka and the little peconic bay. I havent read short squeeze yet but i am really dissapointed that Sam is not the main character. I like jackie but only as his sidekick and i cant believe his next novel wont be set in the Hamptons and be about Sam but rather the Jersey Shore? If you like nelson demille's John Corey youll like Sam Aquillo
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Spigarelli on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the writing style as it evoked a sense of old detectives/private-eyes. I think it would be a great book to listen to as the writing seemed to be more conversationalist. The swearing got old and I felt that even though Sam was a tough guy--take no smack from anyone--that his language could have been cleaned up a bit and that of some of the other characters. I like how Sam interacts with everyone and how even though he uses everyone to help him solve the case that you still like him and laugh at his thoughts and views.
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