Thomas H. Cook is one of North America's most respected crime writers. He won an Edgar award for this novel and has been shortlisted for the award six times, most recently with Red Leaves (Quercus 2006), which was also shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Gold Dagger award.
The destruction that passion can wreak is well demonstrated in this austere new novel by the author of Breakheart Hill (LJ 7/95). From the August day in 1926 that Elizabeth Channing comes to teach art at a private school outside Boston, Henry Griswald, son of the headmaster, finds himself a willing accomplice in the love affair between Channing and Leland Reed, a World War I veteran and fellow teacher. Now a bachelor in his seventies, Griswald looks back over a year in his adolescence that culminated in violent death and the destruction of innocent lives, a year that taught him the dangers of strong emotions. Although none of the characters except Henry is well developed‘it's particularly difficult to understand what attraction the lovers have for each another‘Cook effectively builds the tension through the use of foreshadowing. This well-written, genre-stretching mystery starts slowly and delivers a powerful ending. Appropriate for public libraries of all sizes.‘Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
A good thriller doesn't necessarily require flying fists, bombs and bullets; a sure and measured build-up of tension does just as well, and few are better at the fine art of sure and measured than Thomas H. Cook - GuardianThe Go-Between as reworked by Ruth Rendell...like watching an avalanche in agonizing, exquisite slow-motion - KirkusThomas Cook's night visions, seen through a lens darkly, are haunting, and The Chatham School Affair will cement this superb writer's position as one of crime fiction's most prodigious talents, a master of the unexpected ending - New York Times Book Review
PW gave a starred review to this "literate, compelling novel" about passion and tragedy in 1920s Cape Cod. (Sept.)