Author : RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON
Best Sellers: Eclipse, Exile, The Race and fourteen other critically acclaimed novels.
Mark Darrow grew up with no real advantages beyond his intelligence and his athletic ability. But thanks to Lionel Farr, a professor at Caldwell, the local college, Darrow was successful. Now Farr asks his protege for a life-altering favour. A scandal threatens 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, 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 was charged with murder and sent to prison for life. But Darrow now discovers that the case against his friend left crucial questions unanswered. Despite his new obligations- and his deepening attachment o Farr's troubled daughter- Darrow begins his own inquiry. Soon he becomes convinced that Angela's killer is still at large, but only when another death occurs does he understand that his own life too is at risk.
Line I liked :)
"We only think we know someone until we get to be at an unwatched window of their life"
The woman's tormentor, if he existed in life, was a man of considerable inventiveness. His techniques were varied, all calculated to produce humiliation without leaving a mark; all, in the diary's account, excited him in proportion to their debasement if the victim. But HE remained nameless, more a form of domination than a man with human characteristics and emotions, so defined by his obsessions that Darrow wondered if he was reading an elaborate exercise in sadomasochistic fantasy. The voice of the narrator was detached; resembled accounts of rape victims Darrow had heard as a prosecutor, wherein the woman, helpless during the act, has willed her concious mind to go elsewhere. Yet the details were quite specific, meticulously recorded in the toneless voice of a concentration camp survivor, too resigned to inhumanity to respond with outrage.
On the last page, the only words she had written were
"There is such darkness in the chamber of stone"
"Psychopaths have superior intelligence. They also know it. So every success they have in getting away with something increases their feeling of omnipotence."
A wonderful insight into human mind without being too blunt.. A good mix of thrill, emotions (no not the cry cry types) and yes suspense..
When I read the synopsis I didn't find it that intriguing. It was certainly a different genre from what my favorite lawyer-turned-author John Grisham writes about. Law is certainly an integral part of the plot but what caught my fancy was the way the human nature was potrayed. It explores what mankind would do if there were no limitations and code of conduct.
What captures your attention is the thought in the book. Little trivialities of human nature that could have a larger meaning. How the concious can slip into subconcious when faced with a tragedy too big for your concious mind to deal with. How those subconcious memories convert and haunt your dreams until you can no longer differentiate between memories and dreams.
Mark Darrow has left behind his past and all that happened at Caldwell and moved on to become a successful lawyer. With the death of his wife Lee and a request from his philanthropist mentor Lionell Farr , he has no option but to move back to Caldwell and save his alma matter from the growing distrust of the alumini and raise capital.
He feels guilty for the role he played in getting his best friend get convicted. The fact that he wasn't present in any of the trials and had run away from Caldwell only adds to his guilt.
Steve Tillman convicted for a murder of girl he last slept with. He was fond of Angela Hall and too drunk to remember what transpired between them that fateful night she was found murdered. The memory so blur that he can't even recollect what he was doing that night which works very much against him. Now within the confines of his prison he spends his time reading volumes and researching on repressed memories. He has thought of reasons for his conviction so often that he no longer remembers which is real and which is made up in his mind.
Taylor Farr, daughter of Lionel Farr, is the one running from all that reminds her of her dead mother. The emotional distance with her father, lack of assurance from him only makes her slow to trust men. She struggles with nightmares which she cannot interpret.. A hazy kaleidoscope of images which she can't decode.
The vocabulary of this book is distinguished . Certainly a good read for bloggers :)
After reading this book, you certainly would feel "Do I really know the people I think I know?"
I would rate it 4.8 on 5..
Price : Rs 325/-