|Plot Summary of Disquiet Heart|
St. Martin's, May 2002, 24.95, 336 pp.
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.
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.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Disquiet Heart|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
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?
- 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
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- Mid-Atlantic states
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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