Sunday, February 14, 2010

Short Squeeze -- Chris Knopf

I've enjoyed a couple of Chris Knopf's books before (see here and here), so I was interested to see what he'd do in Short Squeeze, which makes Sam Aquillo, the protagonist of the earlier books a secondary character and promotes his lawyer, Jackie Swaitkowski, into the lead.

Turns out that he does just fine. Jackie proves to be a good first-person narrator, and she has quite a case to deal with. Sergey Pontecello comes to her with what seems to be a fairly simple problem. His wife has died, and his sister-in-law won't leave his house.

Jackie arranges to meet the sister-in-law, who turns out to be quite unpleasant, and finds that the story about the house is more complicated than Sergey has told her. And then Sergey turns up dead, a victim of a hit and run accident. Or so it appears. In Sergey's shirt pocket is a human nipple, which turns out to be part of Edna Jackery, whose other body parts begin to turn up with disturbing regularity. Jackie feels she owes her dead client and begins to investigate.

As are the other books, this one's set in the Hamptons, and there's plenty of well-done local color. Jackie's quite a character, in more ways than one, and Short Squeeze is an entertaining change of pace from the Sam Aquillo books. Check it out.

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