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The Whaleboat House

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,808 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
An enthralling crime novel set in post World War II Long Island. Long Island, 1947 The men of Long Island have fished the wild Atlantic waters over the centuries. For Conrad Labarde, recently returned from the Second World War, the nets hold a sinister catch -- the body of Lillian Wallace, a beautiful New York socialite. Is it an accident or murder? Police chief Tom Hollis ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2004)
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Joan
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lobstergirl
Nov 13, 2009 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
Raul
Oct 22, 2016 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."

Jessica
Mar 28, 2008 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
Rick
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diana
Dec 04, 2008 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 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.
Cathy
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not the book that I had expected. I had skimmed the Digital Library's description that said something about generations of families so I thought it was a generational historical saga of Amagansett. I was not expecting a murder mystery, so I was somewhat disappointed. There were lots of names and I had trouble keeping the different characters straight. But, in the end it was a good murder mystery with some historical references as well.
Toni Osborne
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Pamela
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
LindyLouMac
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
...more
Brooke
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cphe
Apr 12, 2016 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
...more
Lindsey
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
...more
Linda Mcbain
May 24, 2016 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
Lynne
Jan 22, 2011 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
Jessica
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandi
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.
Amy
Sep 13, 2013 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.
Laeti
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Therese
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A correction: The title of the book is Amagansett, its author is Mark Mills.
This is an enthralling troll through the history of the fishing communities on Long Island. We are reminded of the long-gone whalers who roamed the waters in fragile boats, ready to harpoon and drag huge whales back to home ports. Since the book is set just after WW11, over-fishing has not yet depleted fish stocks. A Basque family recalls that their ancestors "discovered" Newfoundland and its teeming cod stocks a centur
...more
Evi
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Tittirossa
Bella storia, mi aspettavo più cattiveria e sono stata sorpresa dal finale. La scrittura non è particolarmente curata. La trama è ben congegnata ma poco credibile. Un libro con cui passare un paio di serate, ma non memorabile.
Suzie Grogan
Rather slow to get going, with almost too much local history- I felt it held the plot back. However the ending drew threads together and made what wasn't exactly a mystery quite thrilling by the close.
Suzanne
I liked the character of Conrad Labarde and how the author developed his back story. Parts of the plot were a bit cliched and the mystery wasn't too hard to figure out, but I still enjoyed the book and looked forward to reading the story as it unfolded.
Annie Guion
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book - good writing, great story, some mystery along with interesting history.
Cindy
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining Recommend WWII era
Debbie G
A good mystery with believable characters and a setting on the east coast that is a character as well.
Linda Chancellor
Good mystery and great characters
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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
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More about Mark Mills...