- Publisher: Permanent Press (NY) (June 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1579624596
- ISBN-13: 978-1579624590
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,548,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Last Refuge Paperback – June 30, 2005
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Now to explain that. The book was intriguing. The plot was sound, but a little transparent. The dialog was excellent. The filler was... filler. Bad, long, drawn out, makes you want to skip a few pages filler. It actually puzzled me and made me put the book down several times and just walk away. How could somebody who writes such good dialog, make the back story and some of the side information so friggin drawn out that it makes the book drag? It is almost like it was written by two people. One who wrote a basic mystery story and all the dialog, and then a second person was supposed to come along and turn the short story into a novel... it was that second person that failed. No Red Herrings, no twists, no miscalculations, no surprises.
It was good enough for me to want to see what Sam Acquillo will be up to next, and to see how Chris Knopf develops. But, I sure wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book to anyone.
As the series opens Sam has been hiding out in the tiny beach front cottage he inherited from his parents with only Eddie the dog and a supply of vodka for company and solace. He is in voluntary exile from the world because reacted rather badly after being rejected by the beautiful but shallow old-money wife who left him because he had just he walked away from his corporate job when he learned it was about to be stripped and sold off for a quick profit.
Knopf just does a great job with Eddie. Maybe the best man/canine empathy since Carl Hiaasen's tale of man loves Lab in "Sick Puppy". And he is really good with snappy dialog and clever repartee between his characters. About as good as one can want. A real gift.
But a mystery writer really lives or dies by his ability to convince his reader that his sleuth has the motivation and skills that plausibly lead to plots being unwound and villians nabbed. This is crucial to the mystery genre and Knopf comes through here as well. The reader slowly realizes that Sam has virtues beyond innate obstinacy and the adversarial skills he retains from his brief pre-MIT career as a fighter. Years of collating and synthesizing research by his corporate team while still passing the corporate bottom line has produced a mind genuinely able to blend intuition and quantitative data into solving the mystery. And, of course, satisfying the urge Sam has to deal a little justice to the phonies and users that are in plentiful supply in the Hamptons.
I have found the first three books to be pleasantly free of annoying post-modern cant and trendy multi-culti correctness. Liberal and tolerant to a fault, but neither preachy nor reverse bigoted. He is working up some endearing secondary characters but none is a stereotypical "sidekick" type and they come and go as needed. My favorite is Dot the cook's daughter who always remembers to say, "it's Dorothy". His books are full of nice touches like that. Still, I could have done without hearing how many times Sam stopped for coffee.
Not sure Sam could drive a 67 Pontiac, have an MIT engineering degree, and not once mention "Car Talk", the hilarious public radio question and answer show by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the Tappet brothers (both MIT part time graduates with a repair shop in Cambridge). But appreciate that a guy with a thing for female characters with great bods and greater proboscises could resist a Cyrano reference. My guess is his wife made him do it.
Most recent customer reviews
Knopf is a very good writer, so his protagonist Sam Aquillo is interesting (many...Read more