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Two Time by Chris Knopf

Two Time (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Chris Knopf

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496238,224 (3.5)4
Title:Two Time
Authors:Chris Knopf
Info:Permanent Pr Pub Co (2005), Paperback, 248 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:cf, series, USA, LI

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Two Time by Chris Knopf (2005)

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"Two Time" is the second in Knopf's 5 book series about Sam Acquillo, a former head of research aatechnical Support and Services) at a major industrial company, former prize fighter, former engineering student, former husband. So what is he now? Well, he's not a cop, nor a PI but he winds up investigating major crimes. And it is this stretch thst finally had he coming away from book 2 a good bit more critical than I had been after book one. And I started to get tired of all the clever repartee - it seems the aurthor really likes clever repartee since a number of characters use it, correction - overuse it. And let's get real - Sam is just an engineer, a techie, and we all know that engineers don't speak like grad school professors of Comparative English Literature. But Sam does. Most of this was a carbon copy of the first book, same characters, same dialog, same setting, same tones, same,same, same. I found myselt wishing it would just end. One book was fine, I think I rated "the last refuge" at least a 4.0 This one starts with an exploding car that kills a hnumber of people, almost including Sam. And it's another finacial scam theme. A 3.0 is probably generous. I am on the fence about reading book three, but if I do it won't be for quite a while. ( )
  maneekuhi | Jan 10, 2013 |
Rating: 3.75* of five

The Book Report: Sam Acquillo, “retired” (fired for beating up a Fortune 500 stooge who wanted Sam to do unethical stuff) engineer turned curmudgeonly champion of the abused, is back. He's still licking his psychic wounds from The Last Refuge, where his problem-solving skills were used to bring some justice to the world of Southampton Town's unfashionable Bay-side Oak Point. Amanda, the cause of his suffering, owes him her freedom from the workaday world and a husband she didn't like; she really, in fact, owes his silence her absence of jail time.

What's a divorced, lonely, bored guy to do when he falls for a, well, a slightly shopworn angel? Wave bye-bye as she motors out of town, her criminal husband's money in her new suit, that's what. Gratitude, thy name is not Amanda.

But another fun benefit of doing the right thing is that local cop Joe Sullivan now has Sam and his problem-solving skills on the radar, and the fact that Sam is a former big shot with a fancy degree means to Joe that Sam can handle the moneyed elite better than Joe can. And he needs that skill right now.

See, somebody hated investment advisor Jonathan Eldridge enough to blow his narrow ass right up. Taking four innocent people with him.

Almost including Sam. Damaging Sam's pal Jackie enough to send her into months of plastic surgery. So Sam's not exactly unwilling to do the poking around Joe wants him to do, except for his ritual growls and grumbles about ungrateful, illegal, obnoxious...you know the stuff, you have to love at least one curmudgeon, all bark and no bite.

Sam gets to know the vaporized dude's wack-job wife, the sibling rivalry-ridden younger brother, the local up-island mobster, an FBI agent named Ig, and a selection of his billionaire buddy's fellow too-rich-to-steal set. Along the way, Jackie has more surgery to fix the damage the blast did, Joe gets stabbed in Sam's front yard, Sam beats the crap out of some stupid small-time muscle working for the mobster, and puzzles together the damnedest, most WTF solution to this nasty crime that you can't imagine.

Oh. Amanda comes home, and moves in next door to Sam. Like he doesn't have enough trouble.

My Review: I like noir novels. I like stuff set in places I know well. I like guys like Sam, who move through the world fixing shit somebody else broke because they can.

I like simple sentences telling exciting stories, and characters whose motivations aren't obscure or blatant, but grayscaled and textured. I like books that make the experience of reading them effortlessly fun.

I think it's a damn shame that Chris Knopf's name doesn't carry the same “oh, yeah!” response that Steve Berry's does. He deserves to. He writes well, he plots well (there are some holes in this tale, but not more than niggling ones I can't specify without serious spoilering, and some underused characters like Jackie and Ig mentioned above), he decides to tell a particular story and that's what he does from beginning through the middle to the end.

Need something to read for a summer afternoon? Want to be satisfied, at the end of the book, that Right was done? Read Two Time. Populist anti-hoity-toity tract that it is, no one goes home unscathed or unvindicated, and the privilege of the Privileged Class takes it on several of their chins. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Jun 8, 2012 |
Sam and friend Jackie are survivors of a bomb that goes off at a restaurant. Others are killed, including the occupant of the car that held the bomb. Jackie is injured, but not Sam. Local cop and friend Joe asks Sam to help out the widow of the car's occupant and a complex turn of events puts Sam at risk as he unwinds the solution to the bombing. ( )
  ellenr | Jul 9, 2011 |
Two Time starts off with a bang as Sam and Jackie are injured in when a car bomb outside the restaurant in which they'd met explodes. Cop Joe Sullivan (introduced in The Last Refuge) asks Sam to talk to the widow of the car bomb victim. Reluctantly spurred on by his guilt over Jackie's injuries, Sam becomes embroiled in the victim's shady dealings in his financial consulting business, a performance-artist brother, an odd widow, and angry clients. In The Last Refuge, Sam starts out as completely withdrawn from the world and gradually begins to make connections with people. I was pleased to see that there is no regressing in Two Time (a pet peeve with me in series fiction is inconsistent character development), but that Sam is still very much a work in progress. He uses his engineering background in a methodical yet insightful way, approaching the murder as a problem to solve. This makes for a fascinating mystery novel, and Sam is an irresistible protagonist. Knopf's caustic wit is a fine counterpoint to the hardboiled action.

http://hollybooknotes.blogspot.com ( )
  noranydrop2read | Apr 6, 2009 |
"At the start of Knopf's super second mystery starring ex-boxer and retired engineer Sam Acquillo (after 2005's The Last Refuge), Sam is enjoying a drink with a lady friend at an East Hampton restaurant when a nearby car and its driver are firebombed out of existence. In the aftermath, Sam, assisted by his old buddy, retired cop Joe Sullivan, looks into who might have had it in for the victim, wealthy consultant Jonathan Eldridge. After talking to Eldridge's agoraphobic widow and suspicious-acting lawyer, Sam continues to investigate—and the more he pokes around the more data he turns up suggesting a complex deception involving financial transfers, angry clients who may or may not be Mafia-connected, the murdered man's estranged artist brother and out-of-it mother. A sly depiction of the east end of Long Island and the Hamptons as they really are, combined with strong plotting, solid characters and hard-boiled dialogue worthy of Elmore Leonard or John D. MacDonald will make this a beach read that you won't be able to put down even under threat of sunburn."-Publisher Weekly
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  permanent | Jan 29, 2009 |
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All ex-boxer, ex-corporate executive Sam Aquillo wants to do is hammer a few nails into his ramshackle cottage, drink a great deal of vodka, hang out with his dog, Eddie, and stay out of trouble. But trouble seems to find him anyway. When a car bomb outside a trendy waterfront restaurant kills a prominent financial consultant and injures Sam and his lawyer friend Jackie Swaitkowski, he is drawn into the investigation. Where the police have met roadblocks, Sam makes inroads with his trademark wit, instinct and charm. Also, he just wants to know: Why would someone go to such lengths not only to kill someone, but annihilate them? Set against the backdrop of Southampton, Long Island, this book is full of moody sunsets, beachfront properties and beautiful people with an extraordinary amount of money and very dangerous secrets.--From publisher description.… (more)

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