A routine visit to one of Sam Acquillo’s job sites becomes anything but. The home’s owner, Victor Bollings, is lying in a pool of blood, the back of his head bashed in. One of Sam’s closest friends in the cabinetry trade is quickly behind bars as the obvious suspect. For the cops, this is all standard operating procedure. But as it turns out, nothing about the case is routine, obvious or standard in any way.
Sam and defense attorney Jackie Swaitkowski are used to an uneasy, though often reciprocal, relationship with law enforcement. But when the chief of police tells Sam to stay the hell away, this time he really means it. For Sam and Jackie, words like this are highly motivational, until strange new forces emerge from the shadows. Forces from well beyond the borders of Southampton, from worlds as sinister as they are unfathomable.
That doesn’t mean Sam and Jackie still don’t have a job to do. And a responsibility to defend the utterly defenseless: a Colombian immigrant with no legal status, no political power and no alibi, with the full weight of the judicial system—local, state, national and international—arrayed against him.
The eighth edition of the Sam Acquillo Mystery Series disrupts the illusion that the Hamptons are safely immune from the struggles that enflame much of the world. It’s an examination of how fear of the unknown ignites prejudice and hate, overturning norms of decency and principle.
For Sam and Jackie, it’s also a lesson in the interconnectedness of evil.
About the Author
Back Lash, CHRIS KNOPF’s seventh Sam Acquillo Mystery Series published in 2016, received a starred review from Booklist. It followed Cop Job in 2015. The Last Refuge (2005) was a finalist for The Connecticut Book Award. In 2007, Two Time was one of thirteen mysteries listed in the “Recommended Summer Reading” column in The New York Times Book Review. Head Wounds won the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Mystery. Dead Anyway featuring off-the-grid sleuth Arthur Cathcart received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal and was named a Best Crime Novel of 2012 by the Boston Globe and won the 2013 Nero Award. The sequels, Cries of the Lost and A Billion Ways To Die, were released in 2013 and 2014. His short story, Kill Switch, was shortlisted for the 2016 Derringer Award. Other stories are slated to appear in the Akashic Noir Series and Alfred Hitchcock Magazine.