Chris Knopf (author); BLACK SWAN; The Permanent Press (Fiction: Mystery) $28.00 ISBN: 9781579622169
Byline: Edward Morris
The setting is perfect for murder: a rickety old hotel -- the Black Swan -- on upscale Fishers Island, a tiny speck of land off the coast of Long Island; a dysfunctional family of high-tech refugees running the hotel; and an impending October storm of biblical fury. As the sea lurches and churns, Sam Acquillo seeks temporary shelter at Fishers Island to repair the Carpe Manana, the sleek new sailboat he and his girlfriend, Amanda, are delivering to a rich friend on the mainland.
By this time of the year all the summer people have departed and the permanent residents clearly want nothing to do with outsiders. But Acquillo, as readers of Chris Knopf's earlier Hampton mysteries will recall, is not easily discouraged. He soon finds an ally of sorts in the hotel owner's daughter, Anika, who seems sexually drawn to him, even though he's fifty-seven and she about half his age.
Anika's father, Christian Fey, has made his fortune by developing N-Spock, a computer program much in demand by big businesses. Just before the newest version of N-Spock is due to hit the market, Fey sells his company and retreats to Fishers Island with his crafty, love-starved daughter and his brilliant but psychologically flawed son, Axel. When the new owners of Fey's company discover defects in the latest N-Spock that render it inoperable, they arrive on the island...