Cover image for The East end : a novel
Title:
The East end : a novel
ISBN:
9780778308393
Physical Description:
300 pages ; 24 cm.
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Summary:
Corey breaks into Hampton mansions at night for kicks; he likes the rush and the escapism. Just before Memorial Day weekend he breaks into the Sheffield estate where he and his mother work. Under the cover of darkness their boss Leo Sheffield-- billionaire CEO, patriarch, and owner of the vast lakeside manor -- arrives unexpectedly with his lover, Henry. After a shocking poolside accident leaves Henry dead, everything depends on Leo burying the truth. But Corey saw what happened... and there are other eyes in the shadows. The estate is hosting a lavish vacation weekend... and no one can know there's a dead man in the woods.
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Summary

Summary

A tragic accident threatens to unravel two families in this gripping novel of suspense and culture clash set in the Hamptons.

Corey Halpern, a local high schooler with a troubled home life, is desperate to leave the Hamptons and start anew somewhere else. His last summer before college, he settles for the escapism he finds in sneaking into neighboring mansions.

One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks in to the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate, where he and his mother, Gina, work. Under the cover of darkness, Leo Sheffield--a billionaire CEO, patriarch and the owner of the vast lakeside manor--arrives unexpectedly with a companion. After a shocking poolside accident, everything depends on Leo burying the truth before his family and friends arrive for the holiday weekend. Unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened, as did other eyes in the shadows.

Secrecy, obsession and desperation dictate each character's path in this spectacular debut. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina and Leo approach a common breaking point. With an ending as explosive as the Memorial Day fireworks on the island, The East End welcomes a bright new voice in fiction.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

On the eve of the Hamptons' season-opening Memorial Day weekend festivities, disgruntled high schooler Corey Halpern, the protagonist of Allen's ambitious but scattered debut, breaks into the mansion where his mother, Gina, works as a housekeeper-and stumbles onto a scene that could prove far more life-changing than anything he might have stolen. Coked-up billionaire Leo Sheffield has come out to what he mistakenly believes to be an empty estate for an assignation before the arrival of his shrewish wife. But nothing goes as planned, starting with the fact that Leo's rebellious college student daughter, Tiffany, and her alluring best friend, Angelique, are already squirreled away on the premises, as is Corey-and ending with one very dead body. Amid the frenetic and frequently farcical action that ensues, Corey and Angelique strike up an instant romance. Corey's working-class perspective on the excesses of the Sheffields and their ilk intrigues, and Allen addresses such serious concerns as Gina's alcoholism, but he tries to pack in too much. Still, suspense fans will eagerly turn the pages. Agent: Sarah Bedingfield, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Memorial Day weekend explodes with violence, skulduggery, and substance abuse at a luxurious waterfront estate.Allen's author bio tells us he grew up in the Hamptons working for the rich folks, and his memories supply this debut novel with physical verisimilitude and boiling emotional energy. Gina Halpern and her teenage son, Corey, are both employed at the estate of the Sheffield family, she as their longtime head housekeeper, he as a porter, pool boy, and extra pair of hands during the hundred days of the summer season. Gina has gotten good at dulling her rage with cheap wine, prescription drugs, and a masochistic relationship with her horrible husband, but Corey's "Yes, sirs" and "No, ma'ams" are no more than a thin veneer of toadying over a socio-economic fury that has already led to a secret life of vandalism. The environmentally friendly cleaning products favored by Sheila Sheffield"a post-menopausal woman with the short-cropped haircut of a little boy" and "the personality of a rooster"are an ironic complement to the caustic attitude of he who sprays them. The novel blasts off the Thursday before Memorial Day with several early arrivals at the estate. Daughter Tiffany Sheffield and her best friend, Angelique, are home from college and plan to get the party started on their own. Little do they know that Corey is creeping around the roof and Tiffany's father has come out in a limo for a last hurrah with his very much younger boyfriend, just released from the psych ward after an attempted suicide. So much booze, cocaine, and pills are ingested in the first few chapters that Friday morning begins with a trip to an AA meeting, which only slows things down a little. There's nothing profound or unpredictable about any of this, but what is remarkable is the author's brio in causing and compounding ever more outrageous disasters. Watch out, entitled pigs with your boring conversations and your unseasonable, bright white sweaters draped over your shoulders. This is revenge.Fans of the murder-in-the-Hamptons genre, and those who hate the rich on general principles, will enjoy this propulsive read. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Corey Halpern is a high-school senior from a working-class family in the Hamptons, where he breaks into vacation mansions to steal beer and salt the milk of the ultra rich. His heavy-drinking mother regularly enlists his help in cleaning billionaire Leo Sheffield's summer mansion, a home that Halpern is actively burglarizing when he's surprised by the arrival of unexpected guests. Allen's fiction debut is a quick-reading thriller that nonetheless heavily relies on types to people its cinematic plot, and on clichés to move them through it. Corey's mother craves pain as she considers physical submission to an abusive ex. Corey secretly watches his love interest through a bedroom window, saves her from physical harm at the hands of another man, then runs away with her, their romantic connection thus solidified. The language and characters of The East End fail to match the screen-readiness of Allen's tightly wound and compelling plotting. Literary-thriller lovers wanting a quick read that's free from linguistic flourishes and emotional ambiguity will race through this.--Jason Hess Copyright 2019 Booklist