Short Squeeze

Chris Knopf, Author
Chris Knopf, Author . Minotaur $24.99 (274p) ISBN 978-0-312-55123-0
Reviewed on: 11/02/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010

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. (Jan.)

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