|Plot Summary of File Under Dead|
St. Martin's, August 2004, 23.95, 256 pp.
Although he likes being a high school teacher and interacting with the students as a gay man Tom Mason feels the need to work with gay teens, who need an adult's help to guide them through their various trials and crises. He volunteers at the Oscar Wilde Gay Youth services advising the teens who are suicidal, afraid to come out, and how to deal with their parents. There's a lot of backbiting and infighting between the staff and the head of the clinic Charlie Fitch, the executive director.
Tom tries to stay away from the politics of the situation but when he opens his file cabinet and finds Charlie's severed head, he becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. Eventually, the police arrest counselor Lee Weaver because his fingerprints are on the murder weapon (an axe) and had a motive as Charlie fired him the night of the murder. Tom counseled Lee when he was teen and he does not believe Lee is the killer. He intends to prove it since he has access to the people involved but before he can find Charlie's killer he finds two more murder victims.
This is a story about teens who do not know how to go against the norm in turns of their sexuality and the counselors who talk the more troubled ones out of considering suicide, and help them accept the consequences .
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of File Under Dead|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Proving innocence of very obvious suspect
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- minority/women/homosexual issues
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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