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  • Erik Mauritzson
  • Jeffrey B. Burton
  • E.L. Carter
  • David Freed
  • Kaushik Barua
  • Chris Knopf
  • Maria Flook
  • William Herrick


Black Swan

Black Swan


Quick Overview:



"Knopf has mastered the verbal drill for tough guys in tight situations, and like Sams nautical know-how, his banter with imperfect strangers is a cut above the norm. (Called out on a tactless remark and asked whats 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, Sunday Book Review

"Sam, as always, makes for an agreeable companion for the reader; he's the embodiment of resilience, a good man emerging from the wreckage of his life. And Knopf again dazzles with his prose, such as this description of one of the software executives: "His gaze would have been reptilian if not slightly warmed by annoyance." In lesser hands, this tale of the storms of life nature's and humanity's might seem melodramatic, but Knopf's talent is such that "Black Swan" is gripping, satisfying and ultimately moving."-- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"More action-oriented is Chris Knopfs Black Swan (Permanent Press, $28.00), another engrossing Sam Acquillo mystery. The riveting opening scene takes place in storm-swept Long Island Sound, where Sam and his girlfriend Amanda are attempting to deliver a custom-built sailboat to its new owner. One warning: Knopf is such an effective writer readers susceptible to seasickness (such as myself) might turn a tad green before the beleaguered boat limps into safe harbor on Fishers Island. Although its the off-season and the island is mostly deserted, Sam and Amanda find lodging at the Black Swan B&B, only to discover that their safe harbor isnt safe after all when one of the other guests is murdered.
This spin on the classical country house mystery, is updated by the appearance of Subversive Technologies, a software giant on the verge of releasing a revolutionary program. While the storm still rages, isolating the island, Myron Sanderfreud, the wealthy CEO of Subversive Technologies, is found strangled to death in the Black Swans shower. Readers who still view tech types as unworldly nerds will find these venial, hypersexual, money-grubbing suspects enlightening. They include Christian Fey, the computer genius who founded Subversive Technologies, then gave up the high tech high life to run the Black Swan; his daughter, Anika, a predatory programmer-turned-artist; his son, Axel, an autistic numbers savant; and the shifty Derrick Hammon, the chief tech officer of Subversive Technologies, who arrives on the island with thugs in tow. Adding a touch of relative normalcy are Gwyneth Jones, the Wiccan owner of a New Age shop; and gutsy state trooper Jennifer Poole. As always, Sams interplay with his smart girlfriend is as enjoyable as Bogarts and Bacalls, and author Knopf is to be congratulated for resurrecting and updating a classic format." --Mystery Scene Magazine

"When was the last time you fell in love with a murder mystery hero - and his dog - and didnt want the novel to end because the narrative was so good? If you havent already met former engineer, boxer, corporation exec, and vodkaloving Sam Acquillo - and his beloved mutt Eddienamed for the hard rock guitarist Eddie Van Halenyoure in for a treat. And if you DO know Chris Knopfs four previous Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mysteries, two of which were finalists for The Connecticut Book Award, youre STILL in for a treat with his latest, Black Swan."
--Joan Baum for NPR

"Acquillo has the same sense of irony, the same quick wit as fellowfictional sleuths such as Robert B. Parkers Spenser and Philip R.Craigs J. W. Jackson (of the Marthas Vineyard series), although henever seems to relax and enjoy life as much as they do. Perhaps hisdistance from emotions can be explained by the way he views himselfwhile steering his boat through worsening weather. As I put my strengthand weight into the wheel one second, and then let it whirl between mygloved hands the next, it seemed impossible that any useful end wasbeing served by human agency, that the boat was in some conspiracy withthe sea and wanted to give me only the illusion of control.  --Foreword Magazine

"Chris Knopf weaves an intriguing tale of adventure and mystery with a protagonist that is a cross between Steven Seagal, Sam Spade, and side characters so kooky that they would be at home in an Agatha Christie novel." --Luxury Reading

"...its 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

"If you like reading about boats and boating, complete with dodgers,foulies, and coamings, the latest entry in Knopfs award-winning SamAcquillo series is tailor-made for you." --Booklist

Chris Knopf's previous 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. The series has been accepted by publishers in the UK, Canada, Japan, Spain, Turkey, and China.

Additional Information

Author Chris Knopf
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BookType N/A