This story poignantly invokes the divisions between the priviledged families residing in their mansions and the local fishing communities of the easternmost tip of 1947 Long Island. The main protagonist, Conrad Labarde, has returned from the Italian theatre of WWII, psychologically scarred from his wartime experiences. He embarks upon a relationship with a socialite who is subsequently found dead, apparently drowned at sea, her body being hauled ashore in his own fishing net. This is where the book opens. Labarde then sets out to bring her killers to justice. Positive aspects of the book include the atomsphere and quality of the writing, which is obviously well researched. The central heroic character is both well painted and likeable. However, for me the book has a bit too much technical detail concerning fishing techniques (which was a little lost on me), and although the central character is well painted, the character of the detective slips into cliche, and the villains are almost pantomime. The book is described as a 'mystery', and although this succeeds for the early part, the identity of the killers is really pretty obvious and in fact the author obviously gives up on this and tells us straight out two-thirds of the way through. The author feels the need to give every character an extensive back history as they are introduced, and the detectives love-interest subplot does little to advance the story. In places it has the overtones of the Great Gatsby.
Therefore it is a mixture of the good and the ordinary for me. Still an enjoyable read, but don't expect a cleverly plotted murder mystery. The author's obvious writing skill really conceals what is really quite a weak story line. Personally I prefered 'The Information Officer', but reading the reviews I seem to be in the minority!