The Last Refuge by Chris Knopf is his debut novel about money and murder in the Hamptons and introduces us to Sam Acquillo. He has taken early retirement and lives in the little cottage on Peconic Bay. He sits on the front porch smoking the camels and drinking the vodka. He reads some. He goes out some. He has a dog, so he has someone to talk to. He reminisces about his early life here with his dad who is dead, got beaten up. His mom is dead. His neighbor is a cantankerous old bat; no one likes her and she demands Sam do chores for her. One day he smells something, It is her, she’s dead. His quiet path to death is disturbed as he gets involved cause no one else will.
Sam is getting around town. He has found a joint he can go to eat and chat with the owner and daughter. He has a personal banker, who wants to be more personal. He is chatting it up with a local cop. He has reconnected with an old friend who is a big time lawyer and wants to help him. He got as dog. Sam is been out of touch for four years and all of a sudden he is reemerging because of the death of his neighbor. He comes with lots of baggage. He has an ex wife, a daughter he doesn’t see, a sister he doesn’t see. He is alone and has liked it for the past four years. He has his routines and is loving it. Of course this is all changing, as it should.
He is involved with something and isn’t quite sure what it is. He does have the cop curious. He has met some shady individuals along the way, which has fueled his curiosity, which is why he reconnected with his lawyer friend, Burton. Summer is over and he has a project, oh goody. All the pieces are coming together as the past unfolds itself into the future and payback, well payback is payback. In the end it is all about civil, mechanical, and social engineering.