A major debut novel that tells a mesmerizing story of love, death, and redemption in a small Long Island fishing community in 1947.
Amagansett is a novel as sweeping and haunting as the landscape of sky and sea it evokes. Beautifully and powerfully told, it announces the arrival of a gifted writer who skillfully weaves together a delicate love story, a brutal murder, an unforgettable evocation of a place and time, and characters shaped by the epic forces of nature, class, war, and memory.
Conrad Labarde is a first-generation Basque fisherman who casts his nets in the treacherous waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Living alone among the high dunes on the east end of Long Island, he is kept company only by the ghosts of war. He is a working-class man in a region sharply divided between those who farm and fish this isolated finger of land year-round, and the wealthy, who claim it every summer for seaside escape.
But in postwar America, the landscape is changing quickly. And lives, too, will change dramatically when Conrad's nets pull in the body of a beautiful young woman, seaweed twined in her hair. Deputy Chief of Police Tom Hollis must traverse the shoals of class and community in order to determine if a crime has been committed and, if so, by whom. From the privileged family whose dead daughter was hiding a torturous secret, to the determined cop who seeks the truth, to the fisherman who is always one step ahead of him-they, and everyone else in Amagansett-will be touched by what the waves cast up that day.
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Mark Mills is a screenwriter whose credits include the script for The Reckoning, adapted from Barry Unsworth's novel Morality Play. Amagansett is his first novel.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* When a literary thriller succeeds beyond genre, it's often because the book's sense of place gives it extra depth. So it is in this striking first novel about a shocking murder in the Long Island community of Amagansett in the years immediately following World War II. When Basque fisherman Conrad Labarde lands the body of a New York socialite in his net, he knows it means trouble--for the Long Island natives, struggling to preserve their way of life against the onslaught of Manhattan wealth, and especially for him personally, since the victim was his lover. Screenwriter Mills expertly blends the fascinating history of Long Island's south shore into his story, incorporating not only the stories of immigrant fishermen but also those of Native Americans, the first group to be dispossessed as the island became more attractive to rich people. The novel combines a touching love story, told in flashback, with a nicely detailed procedural starring an unlikely investigative duo: the taciturn Basque and the Amagansett assistant police chief, who hopes to resurrect his career in the wake of scandal. Literarily inclined cop-novel fans will be reminded of Michael Malone, while nongenre types will find elements of John Casey's Spartina (1989) in the fishing story and in the conflict between locals and summer people. This is a novel to savor, both for its portrait of rough-hewn individuals finding selfhood beyond the breakers and for its snapshot of the postwar world not yet locked in the death grip of modernity. Bill Ott
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001550204
Book Description HarperCollins, 2004. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP94263510
Book Description Berkley. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0007196229I5N00
Book Description Harper Perennial, 2005. Book Condition: Used. Bookseller Inventory # A302B9780007196227
Book Description Book Condition: good. 222 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00007196229-G
Book Description Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: Fine. Daily Mail 'This is an intriguing, atmospheric, literary crime novel. The uneasy juxta position of two communities is brilliantly evoked by Mark Mills' Sunday Telegraph 'The requisite qualities of a film script - atmospheric details, lucidity and a simple, spare style'. Bookseller Inventory # RWARE0000007402
Book Description Harper, London, 2007. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 2'nd Printing. 358 pages set in New England in 1947. Rollo Kemp and Conrad Labarde, of Basque ancestry and recently home from WWII, were fishing in Gardiner's Bay. They hauled their net in with a very unusual catch. Read more about : Stony Hill, Ladies Village Improvement Society, Montauk Yacht Club, Town Pond, Sag Harbor, Accabonac Creek, Ned Raven, Two Mile Hollow, Further Road, and Lillian Wallace. Cond : Paper wrapper is sepia brown with blue lettering. Cover illustration is of one man walking past an over-turned dory on a salt water beach at low-tide. Corners, edges, and spine are all sharp. Volume clean and square. No names, marks, creases, nor tears. Collectible !! Quote (p. 82) : " The only notable additions in the past two decades were a good -quality battery radio set and a framed photo of Billy in military uniform, both on the side table next to the old captain's chair where Sam spent ._._._. .". Trade Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 006083