The Fisher Boy: Book summary and reviews of The Fisher Boy by Stephen H. Anable

The Fisher Boy

by Stephen H. Anable

The Fisher Boy
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  • Published in USA  May 2008
    236 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

A debut mystery set amid the clam shacks and craft shops, art galleries and nude beaches of Cape Cod Provincetown.

Spiraling from the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown has long been a place of freedom, escape, diversity, and risk. A gay resort, an art colony, and a working fishing port, it is at once gritty and hedonistic, beautiful and complex.

Boston comic Mark Winslow arrives with his troupe of improv actors ready to break into the Provincetown club circuit. But the town and the region - seared by drought and caught in the culture war - are anything but peaceful this summer. Does the tall ship in the harbor bear an unusually large number of Scandinavian tourists? If not, who are the blond and ragged people insisting they are associated with it?

Then a public fight makes Mark the prime suspect in the grisly butchering of a Boston blueblood. Mark believes his choice is simple: find the killer or be charged with the crime.

Amid the clam shacks and craft shops, art galleries and nude beaches, undercurrents are pulling at the surface of normality, like riptides beneath seemingly calm water. Could the disappearance of a famous painter 80 years in the past - and the story of his masterpiece, The Fisher Boy - somehow lie at the center of the whirlpool of evil threatening to extinguish Mark’s life?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A profusion of diverting red herrings and a clever twist involving Mark's parentage help keep the suspense high through to the surprising conclusion." - Publishers Weekly.

"A first-rate insider's tour of Provincetown, with tender gay love scenes and B&B vignettes. But the hyper-inflated plot could have used major paring, and the first-time novelist needs to ration his similes." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Sue

Good debut!
For some reason, when I read the synopsis, I envisioned sort of a "cozy" mystery. It was definitely not that. The book is populated with many intriguing characters, but the town itself is one of the main players. It was a bit draggy at first - like floating lazily downstream in a slow-moving river, then suddenly, the current picks up, and you are swept along with it. This was an interesting read and turned into a very good mystery.

Marta

Pleasant Read
The book was a pleasure to read. The transition from chapter to chapter flowed smoothly due to the interest level. The plot was wrapped up nicely at the end.

Wendy

The Fisher Boy
Author Stephen Anable has crafted a unique and intriguing mystery with a myriad of characters, each with their own foibles and quirks. The novel takes awhile to get off the ground as the author sets the stage for the events to come. Mark Winslow is the naïve and curious protagonist, who at times I found a little exasperating but still likable. Anable packs quite a few different plot threads throughout the novel that will keep the reader guessing right up until all is revealed at the end. Suspenseful with a teaspoon of romance, The Fisher Boy is an entertaining novel.

Susan

Engaging, but not for every book group
I liked the book and thought it was well-written, especially the descriptions of the characters and the setting. The plot was full of twists and kept me engaged right to the end. Because the setting and much of the plot concern the predominantly gay community of Provincetown, this isn't the right choice for all book groups. That aside, this book could lead to good discussions about cults and other groups.

Vicky

An exploding second half...
While I wasn't bored, I felt somewhat "ho-hum" and I was into half of this book and I still could not figure out where it was going...then, boom! Suddenly, there were new characters, new twists, a new focus. The plot flew into directions that I had no hint of in the earlier part of the story. Strange, interesting characters appeared and then I couldn't stop reading...I had to see where this story was leading. I will admit, for someone who reads 3 or 4 books a week, this mystery had me puzzled until the last few pages. This book is different but well worth the reader's time and my hat's off to any author who can keep me guessing until the end.

Mary Ellen

Provincetown Sets the Stage
The Fisher Boy is a colorful book bringing together cultural clashes, mayhem, and a murder. The main character, Mark, is trying to launch a club act with a group of friends. The book gives a real feel for the summer community in Provincetown, and the push and pull of gay visitors, the resident community, the wealthy and their groupies. The murder focuses the story and sends Mark, who becomes the suspect, on a quest to deal with the dark forces in his life and a mystery from the past. Edgy and unsettling.

...10 more reader reviews

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Stephen H. Anable was born in Boston and graduated from Stanford and Harvard universities. His short fiction and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies. At various time during his life, he has been a standup comic, a journalist, an actor, a social worker, a scriptwriter, and the communications coordinator at a cemetery. He has two sons and lives in Massachusetts. The Fisher Boy is his debut novel.

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