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It has been almost 10 years since Matthias graduated from the elite Blackburne School, where his roommate and best friend, Fritz, fled into the woods, never to be heard from again, in the middle of their senior year. Fritz vanished just after an argument over Matthias' breaking of the school's honor code, and Matthias has long been haunted by the idea that his betrayal led to his friend's disappearance.
Years later, after hitting the fast lane in New York as a successful novelist - then falling twice as hard - Matthias is stuck, a failure as a writer, a boyfriend, a person. When he is offered the opportunity to return to Blackburne as an English teacher, he sees it as a chance to put his life back together. But once on campus, Matthias gets swiftly drawn into the past and is driven to find out what happened to Fritz. He partners with a curmudgeonly local retired cop and tries to solve the case, dealing with campus politics, the shocking death of a student, Fritz's complicated and powerful Washington, DC, family, and his own place in the privileged world of Blackburne.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kathi on 08-07-17
One of the finest books I've heard on Audible!
This is a fine work by Christopher Swan, and very well narrated by James Anderson Foster. It is a complex work--partly (mainly the first half of the book) a coming-of-age story taking place in an all male boarding school in Virginia, partly an intriguing thriller.
The author has crafted it as a first person account by Matthias Glass, who is a at first a student in the school, alternating in time with about a decade or so later, when he is a teacher there. The story explores the profound relationships that form during the adolescent years in this school, and particularly focuses on a trauma that Matthias undergoes when his best friend suddenly disappears. Later, when he becomes a teacher at the school, there is a parallel incident that reopens all his earlier pain, and he decides he must take on the mystery of the unsolved mystery from his earlier time there. He feels he cannot rest until he can uncover what happened years ago to his friend and roommate Fritz--which leads to some frightening incidents.
I loved the writing, especially the way it is filled with literary references. The author has an excellent ability to pace the story so that it never lags and the vivid descriptions left me feeling I was right there. The ending was certainly something I could not have predicted. This is an excellent book, and I'm hoping that Mr. Swann already has another book in the works!
I'd give this book 10 stars if I could. Just when I thought there were no more original stories left, I'll have to say that this author is both extraordinarily creative and writes in a way that makes for compelling (reading) listening. It was a little slow getting started--there are a lot of characters and background to get in place. But I just spent the entire day listening non-stop, because I just didn't want to turn it off for a minute! Highly recommend!
160 of 167 people found this review helpful
By RueRue on 11-30-17
Prep school intrigue
A well written story, maybe a bit too much plotting in the latter half of the book, which detracted from the characterization. I enjoyed the prep school setting and the dynamic between students. Narration was adequate, nothing special, but not distracting either.
56 of 60 people found this review helpful