Saturday, September 19, 2009

Julie's Review: The Spire

Summary: This thoughtful thriller from bestseller Patterson (Eclipse) charts the impact of the brutal murder of black coed Angela Hall at Caldwell College in Wayne, Ohio, on gifted athlete Mark Darrow, who discovered the body and later became a nationally renowned lawyer. Mark's best friend was convicted of the crime, but many aspects of the trial troubled Mark. Lionel Farr, Caldwell's provost and Mark's former mentor, offers Mark the post of college president 16 years after Angela's murder. Mark agrees to return to Caldwell, now struggling with the suspected embezzlement of $900,000 from its endowment by its current president. With Lionel's support, Mark investigates both the embezzlement and the old murder. Patterson evokes the quiet schism between town and gown in Wayne as well as the fragile relationship between blacks and whites, while Mark's probing hits exposed nerves with fatal results.

Review: The Spire is the type of book that I used to read from Richard North Patterson. This book definitely hark ens back to Mr. Patterson's earlier legal thrillers that I loved. What I think I liked the most about this book was how he slowing unraveled parts of the story that a lot of authors would have revealed quickly.

There are a bunch of different aspects to this book: race, college life, love and the well do you ever really know someone? We meet Mark Darrow as he's going to discuss taking the Presidency at Caldwell College. The book flashes between the present and the past because really aren't they almost always linked? Mark is haunted by the murder of a fellow classmate after the biggest game of his career. What really sticks with him is that his best friend was tried and convicted of the murder. He's never really gotten over that fact. So coming back to the school that gave him so much is a blessing and a curse.

The supporting characters are excellent and well flushed out. Mr. Patterson also keeps you guessing for 3/4 of the book. The thing is that if you are really good at figuring things out, you'll figure this one out too. I don't really want to say too much because I'm afraid I'll spill the beans!

There were 2 things that annoyed me: 1) Calling the main character by his last name throughout the whole book. I get this might be a male thing but in a book I found it to grate on my nerves. 2) I felt the ending might have been a little to quick. I will say that it was nice that it wasn't a nice neat bow but you do have an idea that thing will turn out just right.

I hope that Mr. Patterson returns to the story of Mark Darrow. I truly enjoyed his character and his journey.

Final Take: 4/5


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea September 19, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

I've been waiting to read some reviews on this book. I've reserved the audio version at the library. (great review, looks like you enjoyed it)

Julie December 29, 2009 at 4:52 AM  

I'm just finishing my second Richard North Patterson book. I know what you mean about the last name thing. He does it all thoughout Eclipse. Good review. I will have to check this book out.

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