By Richard North Patterson
Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805087734, 384pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
List Price: $26.00*
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Both a razor-sharp thriller and a poignant love story, this twisting tale of psychological suspense is Patterson’s most compelling novel in years
Mark Darrow grew up in a small Ohio town with no real advantages beyond his intelligence and athletic ability. But thanks to the intervention of Lionel Farr—a professor at Caldwell, the local college—Darrow became an excellent student and, later, a superb trial lawyer. Now Farr asks his still-youthful protégé for a life-altering favor. An embezzlement scandal has threatened Caldwell’s very existence—would Darrow consider becoming its new president?
Darrow accepts, but returning to his alma mater opens old wounds. Sixteen years ago, on the night of his greatest triumph as Caldwell’s star quarterback, he discovered the body of a black female student named Angela Hall at the base of the Spire, the bell tower that dominates the leafy campus. His best friend, Steve Tillman, was charged with Angela’s murder and ultimately sent to prison for life. But now, even as Darrow begins the daunting task of leading Caldwell, he discovers that the case against his friend left crucial questions unanswered. Despite his new obligations—and his deepening attachment to Farr’s beautiful though troubled daughter—Darrow begins his own inquiry into the murder. Soon he becomes convinced that Angela’s killer is still at large, but only when another mysterious death occurs does he understand that his own life is at risk.
“Intriguing … When we begin to develop a sense of the real truths behind the various screens created by several of the main characters, [we] can’t read fast enough to reach the finale.” —The San Francisco Chronicle “A gripping story peopled with plausible characters … A page turner with multiple twists and a well-earned conclusion at once shocking and inevitable.”—Richmond Times Dispatch “Inventive, shocking, and thrilling … Patterson grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and holds him until the very last page … [The Spire] might just be his best to date.”—Tucson Citizen “[This] intriguing novel of psychological suspense… intensifies until the shocking conclusion of this tightly plotted story… sure to please fans of Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly, and James Lee Burke.”—Library Journal “The novel picks up steam and builds to a shocking conclusion. Fans of Patterson’s legal thrillers, the books that made him famous, will be glad to see him back in murder-mystery mode.”—Booklist “Thoughtful … Patterson evokes the quiet schism between town and gown… as well as the fragile relationship between blacks and whites, while Mark’s probing hits exposed nerves with fatal results.”—Publishers Weekly