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Agnes Among the Gargoyles
Author Flynn, Patrick
Published 2001

Agnes Among the Gargoyles

Agnes Among the Gargoyles commences at the dedication of an office tower constructed atop Grand Central Station. The building, the work of billionaire real estate baron Ronald Wegeman, sticks out of the venerable Beaux-Arts railroad terminal "like a thirty-story middle finger." When a plan to assassinate Wegeman goes awry, Agnes Travertine finds herself hailed as a hero and drawn into the Great Man's circle.

Meanwhile, Agnes's friend Barbara Foucault becomes the first victim of the Minotaur of the Labyrinth, New York City's latest serial killer. Stewardesses, nightclub singers, nurses, rabbi's wives--no one is safe from his blood lust. Agnes wonders: is it disrespectful to Barbara's memory to fall in love with the detective assigned to the case?

Wegeman opens The Palace of Versailles, his showplace casino in Coney Island, but the applause is not as tumultuous as he expects. His daughter Sarah, freshly expelled from prep school for having a social conscience, yearns to help society. She attaches herself to Agnes, and films a documentary about Wayne Torrence, a homeless gay man with AIDS in search of Eastern enlightenment, all the while battling off the advances of Ivan Kroger, a dweeb into hobbits and monsters who's been following her around for months. Ivan seems a hopeless loser until he wins Sarah's admiration through an act of heroism.

On the fringes of the action, like a pair of extras from some forgotten film noir, Bezel and the Frenchman, two New York grifters, join forces with a child of privilege called Spock and a disgruntled employee of the Metropolitan Transit Authority in order to plot their last chance at the big score.

Times Square redevelops, Penn Station is rebuilt, Syker's department store almost reopens. While being pursued romantically by a lesbian teacher of the blind, Agnes uncovers some disturbing truths about her mother and dead father. Tollivetti of the Graphic is there, as always, to cover it all. And Agnes at last finds her life entwined, briefly but significantly, with those of Bezel and the Frenchman.

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