For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than 30 years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike. Beginning as small annoyances, they are initially overlooked. But as the incidents escalate, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school. With St. Oswald's unraveling, only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. The veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent, however, a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences. A harrowing tale of cat and mouse, this riveting, hypnotically atmospheric novel showcases New York Times best-selling author Joanne Harris's astonishing storytelling talent as never before.More
"Best of all is a dazzling climactic twist...its last move is a winner." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Harris combines the conventions of the academic novel -its vicious politicking and rich dynamics - with the taut suspense of a thriller as she leaves tantalizing clues as to the perpetrator's identity....This is one hypnotic page-turner." (Booklist)
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Excellent Beginning to End