File Under Dead Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of File Under Dead

St. Martin's, August 2004, 23.95, 256 pp.
ISBN 0312280971

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.
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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 .

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of File Under Dead

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Plot & Themes

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?    -   70% 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/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Mark Richard Zubro Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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