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3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,744 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Berkley (first published 2004)
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Mar 03, 2008 Joan rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that when I finished it I turned back to the beginning and read it again. I was drawn to it because of the name of the English edition -- "The Whaleboat House" -- and even more so when I found that it was published in the US with the name "Amagansett", a town I know as a historian as well as a frequent visitor. Having lived in a hamlet on the East End of Long Island, and having studied its history, I was acutely aware of the dichotomy between the new rich and the old fi ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly engrossing, superbly plotted thriller set in Amagansett and East Hampton, Long Island in 1947. Two local fisherman pull an unexpected catch from their nets - the body of a beautiful, wealthy young woman. The autopsy finds that she drowned, but of course we know it's not quite that simple. It could make a very good movie; not surprisingly, the author is also a screenwriter. Scenes and dialogue flow effortlessly and you can tell which lines are going to get a laugh in a theater. Mills ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Raul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Uma excelente história. Um livro que nos agarra ao fim de 30 ou 40 páginas. É impossível não se gostar de Conrad Labarde. Uma personagem enigmática, fechada e algo sombria... mas que nos ensina tanto sobre si próprio. Ensina-nos acima de tudo que o amor e a justiça valem a nossa própria vida, mesmo que não possamos voltar a viver esse amor, mesmo que não possamos ver a consumação dessa justiça!

"Pescar não ensina lá muita coisa - disse -, mas ensina-te a não precisares de muita coisa."

Mar 28, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Chris
The Whaleboat House, by Mark Mills, is a murder mystery. It takes a meandering approach to the genre. Character development relatively irrelevant to the plot takes up much of the almost 400-page novel. As far as the murder mystery part of the plot, I thought it was thin, at best. Though much time is spent on character development, it is mostly the “good guys” who are being developed. The lack of development of the “bad guys” made it difficult to believe the motivations behind the killing. Also, ...more
Aug 31, 2011 Rick rated it really liked it
I'm not one of those people who has any trouble quitting a book they don't like. So, how a book starts can be crucial to whether I keep on reading or put it down forever. I almost put this one down in the first few pages. I am so glad I didn't. The more I read, the more I was drawn in to the story, a fascinating mix of fishing lore, murder mystery, and Long Island history, with a detour into the horror of the front lines in WWII and insights into the lives of the super rich and privileged who co ...more
Dec 04, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i picked this up on a whim on a bargain book table, not knowing a single thing about author or story.

what a find! this one has a little bit of everything and could easily have gone on another 100 pages.
Asghar Abbas
Dec 26, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

An interesting premise storied by a good prose.
The edition I have, it's cover is even better.
Toni Osborne
Jun 23, 2011 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing
Also published under the title “The Whaleboat House”

Amagansett is a clever story set in 1947, in a small working class village east of the Hamptons. The white sandy beaches and dunes have been inhabited by rugged fishermen for years and have come to attract the wealthy and cultured city folk during their summer vacation. As travel became easier, a different class of people frequented the area, rich sports fisherman put a strain on locals whose livelihood depended on the ocean’s bounty for their
Jun 16, 2012 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Excellent Read!! This is a story set after WWII, a story of the wealthy and the poor, of the hoi polloi of the Hamptons and the fisherman who have been there for years. There is a murder mystery that is fairly well done, but the best part is the writing, the back-stories of each character, the elements of their past that led them to who they are at the time of the novel. It’s gripping from the first page, with realistic conflicts arising everywhere. The author handled the complexity of numerous ...more
A murder mystery set in Long Island in the late 1940’s with plenty of excellent historical and background information about the area. This I think was the reason for me that the mystery was a little slow to get going and at one time I nearly gave up. Get beyond this slow start and it is well worth reading as everything that came before begins to make sense!
Lillian Wallace youngest daughter of a wealthy New York family who have a summer home in East Hampton is found dead in mysterious circumstanc
Jan 12, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it
My mom passed this book along to me bc she thought I would like to read a novel that took place in the Hamptons but this pleasantly surprising mystery story was more than just a reference to my favorite summer haunts. The writing is very fluid and Mark Mills does a good job of weaving together a multilayed murder mystery. Naturally, I loved the references to my favorite East Hampton and Amagansett places but the characters were developed nicely and like most humans were multi tiered and like a s ...more
Apr 12, 2016 Cphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written mystery thriller set in the period post world war two in Amagansett. The body of a wealthy young woman is found by local fisherman at first she has thought to have drowned.

There was a lot to appreciate about this novel. The murder is investigated via two sources, the Basque fisherman Conrad Lobarde who found the deceased and the local police officer Hollis. Each have their own methods of finding the truth and follow separate paths. That two pronged approach worked well in t
The book starts out with two fisherman, Conrad LaBarde and Rollo Kemp, who pull the body of a young lady out of the ocean. We come to find out that the victim, Lillian Wallace, had a secret relationship with Conrad, and neither Conrad nor the detective on the case believe her death was an accident.

The story follows Conrad and the detective, Tom Hollis, as they seperately investigate Lillian's death. The reader learns fairly early on who kills Lillian and why, but the suspense is in wondering if
Linda Mcbain
May 24, 2016 Linda Mcbain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Good, but not that good. The murder mystery was not much of a mystery, not really very gripping. More interestingly the mystery is set against a backdrop of a changing postwar culture where the local inhabitants lives are changing due to the influx of rich socialites. At the heart of the mystery is the clash between old and new. Add to the mix, the effect of the war and the setting should be very rich. Unfortunately it feels somewhat contrived and simplistic, unconvincing. There are sudden about ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story starts with two fisherman - Conrad Labarde and Rollo Kemp pulling the body of a young woman from the sea. From then on the story unfolds til it reaches it's climax and we find out who murdered her and why. I found the story of the murder itself quite slow but halfway through it did pick up the pace a bit. I did enjoy the sections of Conrad's past - his boyhood in Spain and his experiences in WW2 but I just found the book lacked a little something for me - the plot didn't grip me and ma ...more
Jun 15, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
A beautiful mystery. From the first page, I could hear the shells crunching under my feet, feel the swell of the ocean as the fishermen pulled their catch ashore, see the net fall open, the dead body. This murder mystery is different than a lot of others, because it's not churned out according to some formula. Everything is textured with details-- it's set in a small fishing village post-WWII, so the fishermen have lived through the Depression and war, and are gritty and real. Now they're facing ...more
Tory Wagner
Jul 02, 2016 Tory Wagner rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, mystery
Mark Mills has created an intriguing atmosphere in Amagansett. The novel is set in the Long Island area during the aftermath of World War II. The main character, Conrad Labarde, is a first generation Basque who works as a fisherman. While most of his friends are hard working fishermen, he meets and falls in love with a woman whose family is from the monied elite in Long Island. When she turns up in a fishing net, both Conrad and the local sheriff are determined to discover the secret of her deat ...more
A really good book. Well written with a vivid setting and time period. The plotting was smoothly done and the characterizations, from the leads to minor players, were quite realistic. Very impressive for a debut and I was not the only one who thought so since it won the New Blood Dagger in 2004.
Sep 13, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, let down (for me) by overly involved descriptions of sailing and fishing. But strong characters, an interesting plot, and a good writing style.
Oct 28, 2016 Laeti rated it liked it
Je préfère le dire tout de suite : il est long !! Je n'en pouvais plus de toutes ces descriptions, ces flashback dans la vie des protagonistes, le nombre trop important de personnages qui ne le sont pas... Arrivée à 100 pages j'ai vraiment hésité à stopper ma lecture. Mais je n'aime pas faire ça, surtout quand malgré tout, l'histoire m'intéresse. Alors j'ai pris sur moi et j'ai continué.
Cela dit, ça plaira à ceux qui aiment avoir beaucoup de matière et anecdotes. On apprend aussi pas mal de cho
May 21, 2017 Evi rated it really liked it
"The Whaleboat House" ... Conrad knew it was a body the moment he started hauling on the net.

That first sentence drew me in and I enjoyed every page from there on.

Set in Long Island's South Fork fishing village in 1947, it's a tale of murder, greed and love within a divided community of the rich city summer people and the local fishing community.
Feb 20, 2017 Cindy rated it liked it
Entertaining Recommend WWII era
Debbie G
Jan 01, 2017 Debbie G rated it liked it
A good mystery with believable characters and a setting on the east coast that is a character as well.
Jun 06, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
One fine day in July 1947 Conrad Labarde a Basque fisherman and his partner Rollo are hauling in their net and the familiar twitch of the line is absent, and where are the pulls and tugs against the twine, or a flicker of a surface break? They both know that they have an inert load beneath the pewter skin of the sea and there is nothing else to do but bring it in. It is what they hoped it wasn’t, a dead woman still beautiful but sea washed and peaceful.

The setting for this mystery is the south f
Apr 27, 2013 Mr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very confident, polished debut novel (©2004) from the author of 2012’s outstanding HOUSE OF THE HUNTED. AMAGANSETT (see a helpful but hard-to-read map on the endpapers) is intimately set in the summer of 1947 in Suffolk County on the South Shore of Long Island, a seaside area first settled by Europeans in 1680. Conrad Labarde, a native-born Basque, a WW II combat commando and a resourceful commercial fisherman, unexpectedly hauls a young woman’s body out of the surf in while seine-fishing from ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este foi o segundo livro do autor que li.
Como já tinha apreciado “O jardim das sombras”, abalancei-me a este, publicado em 2005 e premiado pela Associação Inglesa de “Crime Writers”.
Desta vez, Mark Mills escreve um texto sobre a história dos habitantes da aldeia de Amagansett.
O ambiente social que, à época, se vivia na zona de Long Island e os efeitos da guerra sobre todos dão o mote à história.
O autor utiliza uma escrita fluida, repleta de descrições pormenorizadas e caracterizadoras de pesso
Feb 17, 2017 Susan rated it did not like it
I found this book so tedious that I almost didn't finish it, a rarity for me. You may like it if you are a fisherman from the South Fork of Long Island and could relate to the endless details on fishing. Then, the book needlessly threw in long gory WW2 detail and characters, unnecessary to the plot. So, if you are a fisherman from LI that likes WW2 stories and crime novels, this may be for you. Otherwise, skip it!
Jun 24, 2012 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
Oh, what a pleasant surprise!! This book sat around collecting dust in my house for a very long time and I just kept passing it over for other selections. Maybe it was because of the name...I'm still not sure exactly how to pronounce it and it doesn't tell you much about the book. I feel like there could have been a better title. Yes, it takes place in Amagansett and you do learn quite about the small town from which it gets its namesake, but the characters and the story are just as richly devel ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it
Long Island in 1947 was home to two separate communities - the locals, both descendants of early English settlers and ethnic immigrants, mostly fishermen and shopkeepers - and the summer people, wealthy New Yorkers who built large vacation homes and employed, but didn't mix with the locals.

Conrad Labarde, a Basque fisherman and WWII hero, and his partner Rollo, pull in their net to find the body of a young woman, drowned, apparently accidentally. She is the daughter of one of the wealthy summer
Sep 07, 2008 Kellie rated it really liked it
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Mark Mills is a British writer of screenplays and novels. His first screenplay was BAFTA-nominated short film One Night Stand starring Jemma Redgrave and James Purefoy in 1993; this won Mills a 'Best Screenplay' award at the Angers European First Film Festival in 1995.
Mills's first novel was Amagansett, later reissued under the title The Whaleboat House published in 2004; this won him the 'Best Cr
More about Mark Mills...

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