Last time we saw Sam Acquillo, Burton, his good buddy, was about to bring his estranged daughter into see him. What happens in the second installment of Sam’s life in Two Time by Chris Knopf is a stunning car explosion on a dock during a magnificent sunset killing five and injuring Sam and his lawyer Jackie Swaitkowski. Joe Sullivan puts Sam on the case, off the record, after three weeks of nothing happening the State and Federal officials turned it over to the local guys. Joe wants Sam to do the heavy lifting with the very weird widow and then turn over what he gets to Joe for follow up. Ross, Joe’s boss, ain’t to get wind of this. Ross doesn’t like Sam and will fire or dock Joe in half a New York minute.
Sam has a good way with people. He was able to put the widow at ease and to even open up. His car radio is tuned to the LIU jazz station. He thinks about how he is going to attack a carpentry job he is working on at home while driving or just reflecting on the scenery. He’s good to his friend Jackie. Continuing on in his usual way he begins to upset people causing the near death of his cop friend, Joe. Now Ross is on it. He has made up with Amanda and Eddie his dog, is getting proper attention. The investigation is opening cans of worms and Sam knows he is in over his head, but not sure yet, how far. He will find out soon.
Sam communicates with his daughter, Allison, in haiku like fashioned email. He still maintains his boxing skills at the local gym and source for some info from a former cop. It’s good he keeps up these skills as they come in handy when he runs into minor trouble. His engineering skills are always useful as he is building an addition to his shack, doing finish work for a local contractor, of hobnobbing with the artsy crowd and discussing large environmental projects. Butch, the brother of the dead man and local performance artist, created a performance where his crew changed the oil and balanced the wheels on Sam’s ’67 Grand Prix. Sam offers an idea based on his engineering knowledge for a large project Butch and his crew are considering. Sam is a renaissance man.
Sam discovers the truth about the case from a trip to NYC and back as well as about life. “..but the greater salve was being back in the company of my home, back from those places that weren’t livable for me anymore.” This is exactly how I feel when I’m returning from my trips back to NYC, which are less frequent now. His social engineering skills are magnificent. For a man with out a cell and an answering service, he sure can talk his way into anyplace to talk to anyone; and when talk doesn’t help, he can always use a sledgehammer and pry bar. Sam is a resourceful man with influential friends and associates.
Now as for Amanda.