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The Agitated Actress Paperback – 3 May 2019
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- Publisher : Independently published (3 May 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 200 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1096753170
- ISBN-13 : 978-1096753179
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.27 x 20.32 cm
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The ending of the Agitated Actress was more abrupt than usual, although only readers of this series would notice that. Also, oddly, I felt a little let down by the climax of the story – an anticlimactic climax? Then again, there was a moment at the end that sent a shiver of delight up my spine, and I suspect that this was the real climax in Frank Butterfield’s mind.
It was that tiny, thrilling moment at the end of the story that confirmed in my mind what the author’s purpose was in this book. This is Nick Williams, in his early forties, as a man in full (a nod to Tom Wolfe). Nick is at peace with himself, with his demons, with his family, with the spirit of his great-uncle Paul. We see a Nick Williams who, with his beloved Carter, has lived through hell despite the vast wealth at his command. These are two men who know Lyndon Johnson and Charles DeGaulle by name. They fear nothing, because they have faced the worst and survived.
Nick gets to slip back into his private detective mode and solve a crime. But the crime is secondary to watching Nick be Nick – this mature, sure, smart, benevolent Nick; who hates bullshit and phoniness and loves the little guy with all his heart.
The Agitated Actress wouldn’t be hugely meaningful to folks who haven’t read the series, because it is the context that makes this narrative sing with emotional power. Like Carter, we get to watch Nick command the situation. We marvel at his clever mind, his gentle soul, and his generous nature. Middle age is going to be good for Nick and Carter, and we’re lucky enough to be along for the ride.