Swan song

Elin Hilderbrand

Book - 2024

Mysterious wealthy newcomers, the Richardsons, have bought a lavish house. But when it burns to the ground and their employee goes missing, the island is in for plenty of drama.

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Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Domestic fiction
Romance fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2024.
Language
English
Main Author
Elin Hilderbrand (author)
Edition
First edition
Physical Description
375 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780316258876
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Nantucket Police Chief Ed Kapenash is days away from retirement when he gets a call: a house has burned down and a woman is missing. The house belongs to Bull and Leslee Richardson and the woman is their concierge, Coco, who fell (jumped? was pushed?) off their boat. The story then flashes back to the beginning of the chief's last summer, when the Richardsons arrive on the island, throwing their money and favors around. The story also belongs to Coco, who's not quite a grifter, but has her own reasons for working for the Richardsons. As the story alternates between the chief's late-August investigation and the events of the summer, readers learn how Nantucket soured on the Richardsons. Hilderbrand has promised this is her last Nantucket novel and she ends the series with a bang. There are plenty of Easter eggs for longtime fans, but even those diving in to her exquisite writing for the first time are in for a treat: a story that feels like it's being told over cocktails at the Oystercatcher, perfectly paced for maximum drama with characters you can't get enough of. This is aspirational escapism at its finest. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hilderbrand's final Nantucket novel will draw old and new readers out of the woodwork.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Hilderbrand closes out her long run of Nantucket novels (after The Five-Star Weekend) with an engrossing story of three mysterious newcomers. Leslee and Bull Richardson arrive at the multimillion-dollar house they've just purchased on Nantucket with Coco, their live-in concierge. Coco, an aspiring writer, hopes to show her screenplay to Bull, a businessman who's produced a couple of movies, and she landed the gig by lying about how well she knows the island. Larger-than-life Leslee throws lavish parties at the couple's oceanfront house, but she increasingly rubs people the wrong way--women, especially--by flirting with men who are taken. By the end, as readers will know from a flash-forward opening, the Richardsons will be largely shunned, Coco will go missing, and their house will go up in flames. In chapters exploring Bull's shady business dealings and Coco's duplicity, Hilderbrand gradually teases out exactly what happens and why. Strong characterizations and delicious moments of tension make this a worthy note to end on. Readers will be riveted. Agents: David Forrer and Michael Carlisle, InkWell Management. (June)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A stranger comes to town, and a beloved storyteller plays this creative-writing standby for all it's worth. Hilderbrand fans, a vast and devoted legion, will remember Blond Sharon, the notorious island gossip. In what is purportedly the last of the Nantucket novels, Blond Sharon decides to pursue her lifelong dream of fiction writing. In the collective opinion of the island--aka the "cobblestone telegraph"--she's qualified. "Well, we think, she's certainly demonstrated her keen interest in other people's stories, the seedier and more salacious, the better." Blond Sharon's first assignment in her online creative writing class is to create a two-person character study, and Hilderbrand has her write up the two who arrive on the ferry in an opening scene of the book, using the same descriptors Hilderbrand has. Amusingly, the class is totally unimpressed. "'I found it predictable,' Willow said. 'Like maybe Sharon used ChatGPT with the prompt "Write a character study about two women getting off the ferry, one prep and one punk."'" Blond Sharon abandons these characters, but Hilderbrand thankfully does not. They are Kacy Kapenash, daughter of retiring police chief Ed Kapenash (the other swan song referred to by the title), and her new friend Coco Coyle, who has given up her bartending job in the Virgin Islands to become a "personal concierge" for the other strangers-who-have-come-to-town. These are the Richardsons, Bull and Leslee, a wild and wealthy couple who have purchased a $22 million beachfront property and plan to take Nantucket by storm. As the book opens, their house has burned down during an end-of-summer party on their yacht, and Coco is missing, feared both responsible for the fire and dead. Though it's the last weekend of his tenure, Chief Ed refuses to let the incoming chief, Zara Washington, take this one over. The investigation goes forward in parallel with a review of the summer's intrigues, love affairs, and festivities. Whatever else you can say about Leslee Richardson, she knows how to throw a party, and Hilderbrand is just the writer to design her invitations, menus, themes, playlists, and outfits. And that hot tub! Though Hilderbrand threatens to kill all our darlings with this last laugh, her acknowledgments say it's just "for now." Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.