A Sleeping Dog
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Nancy Kiernan, a Journalism student investigates a "cold case" murder associated with the university. When she is killed, her best friend teams up with Nancy's boyfriend to find the murderer.
Their investigation reveals more than a closetful of skeletons. None of the suspects seem like a murderer, but one of them is. More
A Sleeping Dog is a mystery within a mystery. It is set in a very Catholic college campus in the late 1970’s. The protagonist, Molly Monaghan is a senior Journalism major, whose best friend, Nancy Kiernan is investigating a murder that is a twenty year old cold case. When Nancy is stabbed to death in the campus parking lot, Molly is sure that the murderer is one in the same killer of Louise Porter, the victim in the case Nancy was investigating.
Molly convinces Kevin O’Conor, a mutual friend, and Nancy’s lover, to help her find Nancy’s killer. They use Nancy’s material and their own knowledge and journalistic ability to uncover unsettling and seemingly unsavory connections with key players in the life of the campus and in Molly’s life as well. The list of suspects include: Dr. Pascari, Head of the Journalism Department, beloved and revered by his students; Jim Sutton, Head of Security, well-liked and trusted by the community; Father Thomas Maddon, an immensely popular Friar, slated to be the next president of the university and Polly Kuyper, the spinster Head of Housing, who is as much a part of the university as the buildings and, in truth, seemingly indistinguishable from them.
There are also the slightly more than peripheral characters of Tess Monaghan, Molly’s mother and Jerry Reardon, a homicide detective and a close family friend of the Monaghans. A Sleeping Dog is designed to be less of a whodunit then why it was done and that answer lies within the reader. The reader is also introduced to the character of Louise Porter, the first victim, who is described as “the personification of evil”. She was a troubled young woman, who brought scandal and heartbreak to the campus, and paid dearly for her choices. One suspect says of her that “of course I was attracted to her, a male hormone in a test tube would have been attracted to her…”
In the end, the murders of Nancy Kiernan and Louise Porter are solved, but the mystery of why people whose lives and morality appear black and white, so often, upon more serious scrutiny, turn out to be charcoal grey, remains eternal.
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