The Last Refuge
By Chris Knopf
(Permanent Press (NY), Hardcover, 9781579621186, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 2005
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Sam Acquillo's at the end of the line. A middle-aged corporate dropout living in his dead parent's ramshackle cottage in Southampton's North Sea, Sam has abandoned friends, family and a big-time career to sit on his porch, drink vodka and stare at the little Peconic Bay. But then the old lady next door ends up floating dead in her bathtub and it seems like Sam's the only who wonders why. Despite himself, burned-out, busted up and cynical, the ex-engineer, ex-professional boxer, ex-loving father and husband finds himself uncovering secrets no one could have imagined, least of all Sam himself. Meanwhile, a precession of quirky character intrudes on Sam's misanthropic way--a beautiful banker, pot-smoking lawyer, bug-eyed fisherman and gay billionaire join a full complement of cops, thugs and local luminaries, the likes of which you never knew inhabited the hidden corners of the storied Hamptons: haves, have-nots and want-to-have-at-all-costs. Some deadly. Like Dr. Gernard Ricux in Camus' The Plague, tragedy has given Sam Acquillo an excuse to go on living-if for no other reason than to satisfy his curiosity, and may be buy a little time before succumbing to the existential despair that has brought him to the brink.