Disquiet Heart Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Disquiet Heart

St. Martin's, May 2002, 24.95, 336 pp.
ISBN: 0312262485

When his spouse died, Edgar Allan Poe drowns his sorrows by frequenting the local bars and over indulging. His disenchanted former protégé Augie Dubbins comes to Philadelphia to find Poe. Augie finds a shell of his mentor whose depression is bone deep. However, Augie has some good news. The Quintillian Society head Dr. Alfred K. Brunrichter wants Poe to come to Pittsburgh as his houseguest while providing lectures to the rank and file members.
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When Poe and Dubbins arrive at their host's mansion, they are stunned as Brunrichter looks like Edgar's twin. The doctor wants Poe and his cohort to investigate the disappearance of several women in the last month or so. As Brunrichter keeps Poe in a virtual state of stupor with ether, Dubbins begins a search for the lost ladies. However, when Dubbins is accused of murder, Poe shakes off the daze to start his own inquiries including into that of his benefactor.

Though well written, DISQUIET HEART is radically different in mood and tone than the superb ON NIGHT'S SHORE. The sleuthing by Poe and Dubbins comes late in the tale, as the novel is more a historical fiction than a mystery. Instead readers glimpse a depressed pessimistic Poe spiraling into addiction. Still, the story line grips the audience as the atmosphere of 1847 Pittsburgh and Philadelphia vividly seems real through the actions of Poe and Dubbins. Though very gloomy, readers will appreciate Randall Silvis' latest tell tale Poe adventure.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Disquiet Heart

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40% Special suspect?    -   best friend Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Mid-Atlantic states

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Randall Silvis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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