WHIRLPOOL by Barry Estabrook
Kirkus Star


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A second outing for the author of Bahama Heat (1991), this time set in New York's Adirondacks. Barron Quinnell, partner with Bo Scullin in a megabucks property development company, is found dead in a trout fishing pool on the Ausable river. His widow, Percy; his environmentalist, first-marriage son Quentin; and his business partner, Bo, all seem satisfied with the accidental-death verdict pronounced by New York State Trooper headquarters at Ray Brook. Only longtime Trooper Garwood Plunkett, who lost Percy to her rich husband 20 years ago, has serious doubts. They're soon overshadowed, however, by other happenings: the shooting death of a hiker, and a huge fish kill in the river--caused by toxic chemicals, according to disagreeable Quentin Quinnell, who's head of SAP (Save Adirondack Park). Meanwhile, non-grieving widow Percy is working with her 70-ish godfather Ivor Rhys, onetime Ponzi-scheme artist supreme, on ways to maximize her inheritance--ways that involve a fast trip to the Cayman Islands. Partner Bo Scullin has his very own scare artist (although he doesn't know it) in the gorgeous shape of his southern mistress, Bambi-Sue. Finally, Quentin's sudden disappearance and Plunkett's dogged, dangerous efforts to trace him will bring matters to a bloody climax. Packed with loony-tunes characters, complex money scares, cross and double-cross, and esoteric fishing lore: This wild and wooly tale doesn't always make sense, but it's unfailingly entertaining all the way.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1995
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's