At the beginning of the fall term at Winchester University, in rural Indiana: On the first day of class, Professor Williams presents a startling scenario to the students in his Logic and Reasoning 204 course: A young girl has gone missing and the class has until the end of the quarter to find her or she will be murdered. The students believe ...
At the beginning of the fall term at Winchester University, in rural Indiana: On the first day of class, Professor Williams presents a startling scenario to the students in his Logic and Reasoning 204 course: A young girl has gone missing and the class has until the end of the quarter to find her or she will be murdered. The students believe Williams' tale is nothing more than a logic puzzle, but soon three of them - Mary, Brian and Dennis - stumble upon a real-life, unsolved disappearance that sounds eerily similar to the one Williams described, the case of Deanna Ward, a girl who went missing 20 years earlier and was never found.Each of them becomes obsessed with the two women and the professor, a shadowy figure himself. As the real world and Williams' puzzle begin to merge, the three young people are thrown into a complex and horrifying game of deception. What's real, what's fiction, and how far will the students go to obey authority? 'A taut and timely thriller that explores the dark side of academia, where classrooms are dangerous and paranoia abounds' - Karin Slaughter. 'Obedience draws you in and never lets you go - and what a ride' - David Baldacci.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-24 A complex conspiracy involving the writing of a book drives Lavender's compelling debut, a thriller that will strike some as a mix of John Fowles's The Magus and Stephen King's The Shining. At Indiana's Winchester University, three students--Brian House, Dennis Flaherty and Mary Butler--are taking Logic and Reasoning 204, taught by enigmatic Professor Williams. They quickly learn this is a course like no other. Their single assignment is to find a missing 18-year-old girl, Polly, in six weeks time--or else, Williams asserts, she will be murdered. Is this merely an academic exercise? As Williams produces clues, including photographs of Polly and her associates, the students begin to wonder where homework ends and actual homicide begins. Together with Brian and Dennis, Mary ventures off campus in search of Polly into a world of crumbling towns, decrepit trailers and hints at crimes old and new. A rapid-fire plot offsets thin characterization, though the conspiracy becomes so all-encompassing, so elaborate, that readers may feel a bit like Mary when baffled by her quest: "This is what she felt like: led, played, not in control of anything she did." (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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