The year is 1947, and Amagansett, a small fishing village on Long Island, is undergoing many post-war social changes. The wealthy have begun to move in and claim the region as their summer playground. They clash often with the local men whose very survival depends on the unpredictable waters of the Atlantic. Conrad Labarde, a decorated soldier and second-generation Basque fisherman, keeps company with the ghosts of war and his deceased loved ones. The day he ensnares the body of a woman in his fishing net, his world turns upside down. We learn early on that she is the beautiful New York socialite Lillian Wallace, a member of one of the elite summer families and a sister to Manfred Wallace, an ambitious and ruthless man determined to enter the New York political scene. Her relationship to Conrad and the depth of their love are revealed to us in bits and pieces as the story unfolds and the suspense builds. The coroner rules her death an accident, but the instincts of Tom Hollis, local cop and former New York detective, say otherwise. He knows most of the answers lie with Conrad, who stays one step ahead of him in the investigation and spoon-feeds him just enough clues to keep him involved. Hollis is led to the climatic scene, but must watch from the sidelines as Conrad forces the murderer’s hand and puts his own life on the line in order to take his revenge.
Amagansett is a debut novel by screenwriter Mark Mills. It is an engrossing story with many wonderful characters, and I kept thinking how nice it would be to see it played out on the big screen.