Deep Dive by Chris Knopf (Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery #9)
English | 2019 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.0 MB
Sam Acquillo has spent most of his time in the Hamptons hanging out with the other half of the moneyed wonderland: cops and bartenders, carpenters, store clerks, and firemen. He couldn’t care less about the concerns of the 1 percent, until his best friend Burton Lewis, a certified billionaire, is dragged into a high-profile death investigation.
A former corporate superstar brought down by the machinations of the grasping class, Sam’s not entirely unfamiliar with the cultural norms of super wealth. It’s why he retreated to his cottage refuge at the tip of Oak Point Peninsula jutting into the Little Peconic Bay. But in the intervening years, he’s engaged with all forms of low-life tough guys and connivers looking for that edge, an easy path into a social order besotted with unattainable yearning. A world where the best revenge is one with no consequences, no penalties, or costs.
For some, there is no power without prestige, and no prestige that can’t be bought. They see no distinction between corporate profit and high-minded nonprofits, charity being the currency of social preeminence. In Deep Dive, Sam discovers just how right he is. The rich can achieve a level of depravity and hate both invisible, and incomprehensible, to the rest of us.
outhampton Town Detective Mike Cermanski looked like the kid in your high school class who was too scrawny to win a fight, but too wiry and vicious to lose. I stayed clear of those guys, or more often, made friends, since I was more or less the same way.
He always wore a dress shirt and tie. Never a sport jacket, or the athletic wear other detectives thought would impress the victims of their crime scene interviews. The spare, classic attire was less intimidating, since it made you feel he was a serious professional, and thus less likely to railroad you into ill-advised comments. Though the overall effect was somewhat compromised by the chunky service pistol holstered on his hip.
Long Island locution decorated his speech, but so did a respectful politeness, a presumption of innocence you couldn’t help believing, even when your better mind knew you were being played.
He was officially in the town police department and we were in the village, a separate jurisdiction, only the village didn’t have detectives qualified to investigate suspicious deaths, which I guessed they thought this was. That night he had the riveted attention of two billionaires, one of their wives, the victim’s date, and me. Also one domestic servant, a Latina, who stood there still as a statue. It didn’t seem to faze him a bit.
“So, everyone here heard the sound of glass breaking before you went around the house and found Mr. Darby apparently dead on the ground,” he said, for at least the third time. “As far as you know, he was alone in the bedroom when the accident happened.”
The little unhappy group agreed with that, for the third time.
Cermanski asked about Elton’s circumstances. He was an employee of a nonprofit social welfare organization the Edelsteins had supported for years and had become a type of friend—subordinate, but welcome to their home for certain social occasions. This one featuring Burton Lewis, a potential donor whom Darby might convince the cause was worthy of support.
“Sorry, Burton,” said Joshua, “but you know how these things work.”
“Of course,” said Burton. “I’d do the same.”
“Worldwide Loventeers,” said Rosie, clarifying things for Cermanski. “We’re in twenty countries. Harnessing the power of goodwill for the good of humanity.”
She used the tip of her middle finger to feel something on the side of her nose. It looked okay to me. So did the rest of Rosie. Though intimations of middle age had begun to haunt her eyes and thin, bloodless lips, she’d thus far resisted the siren call of plastic surgery.