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Disquiet Heart: A Thriller Hardcover – May 20 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 20 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262488
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,471,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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THE SUNLIGHT of a late afternoon fell across my hand and across the single sheet of ivory parchment as I read this letter, fell upon the handwriting composed in a tight but elegant script, the lettering so precise as to seem almost feminine. Read the first page
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Format: Hardcover
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.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
more a dark historical fiction than a mystery May 12 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book! April 22 2009
By G. G. Bartley Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have trouble understanding the logic of those who criticize this book. I guess if you want a fast read without much substance, there are better novels. But for a truly memorable book that covers not just into the surface of a crime, but the historical character of Poe in a fictional novel, you cannot do better. I used to work at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, and currently work near Pittsburgh. The author does a truly impressive job of protraying Pittsburgh in the 19th century. And his ability to deal with character of Poe using many of the same words and phrases that Poe used in his works shows that Mr. Silvus really did his research.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Thriller? You could have fooled me Jan. 12 2006
By The Peruvian Wunderkind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fresh on the heels of his critical and commercial success, "On Night's Shore," Silvis again revisits the dynamic duo of Edgar Allan Poe and his protégé, Augie Dubbins. Written in the historical crime fiction mold, the novel chiefly takes place in mid 19th century Pittsburgh. Here, the team set their minds to solving a string of female abductions that has plagued Pittsburgh over the past six months. As we eventually discover, one member of the team has a personal interest in having this mystery solved.

What kills this novel (pardon the pun) is it's pacing; quite frankly, it is brutally slow, like watching paint dry. The first 200 pages, approximately 2/3 of the book, serve as nothing more than backdrop, painstakingly detailing Poe's physical/psychological collapse; a collapse, mind you, that has nothing to do with the book's resolution. I would have understood had the psychological section of the novel dovetailed with the thriller portion and/or provided insights concerning the mystery of the disappearing women. However, there really isn't much connectivity between the two parts.

In a futile attempt to maintain the reader's interest, the narrator frequently alludes to imminent disaster. As each reference has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the chest, and Silvis constantly repeats these warnings, apparently unaware that his readers will probably remember things that are mentioned after, oh, about, 100 times, by the time the actual disaster comes about, I was irritated and past caring.

This is a rather obvious whodunit. The reader is constantly two steps ahead of the purported sleuths. Strangely, ostensibly important clues that are intimated earlier in the book, such as Augie's sequence where he is not sure whether he is dreaming, are later totally ignored by our enterprising duo when putting the clues together. The book had me wondering whether Silvis was deliberately trying to insult the pair's intelligence.

Having paid a mere $5 for the book (in hardcover, no less) at my local book superstore, I really can't say I was swindled out of my money. After all, as the old adage goes, `you get what you paid for.' Nevertheless, I was still disappointed, particularly in light of Silvis' reputation as an intriguing storyteller.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Buch McWuerd Jan. 1 2007
By Jan Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Its pretty sad when most of this guys books are available for a penny and the only positive reviews come from Harriet Klausner!

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