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The Church of Dead Girls Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Church of Dead Girls

Three young girls who had been abducted are found in the attic of a home in Aurelius, NY. They are dead, bound by rope to chairs side by side, and missing their left hands.   The story narration turns back in time to when two unsettling events occur just a short period prior to the grisly discovery. First is the gruesome murder of Janice McNeal, ex-wife to Patrick and mother of Aaron. She is not very subtle about her sexual liaisons and is reputed to have had over two hundred lovers. Her corpse too, has lost its left hand. The second altering event for the town is the hiring of history professor Houari Chihani a radical Marxist for Aurelius College. He initiates a socio-political reading group Inquiries Into the Right (IIR) that eventually attracts ten youthful misfit adherents to his political and social philosophies.

The ten individuals, led by Aaron McNeal, begin thumbing their noses at the town's power structure and conservative lifestyle quickly drawing the ire of the locals. As bad things begin to happen the group members are singled out for suspicion and even retribution. The attitudes and actions turn ugly on both sides with assaults, property damage, and accusations. Beneath the idyllic exterior Aurelius is rife with anger, bitterness, infidelity, pettiness, jealousy, and sickness. Aaron's half sister Paula marries Franklin the editor of the town's paper as his first wife recently passed away from cancer leaving him with their daughter Sadie. Aaron conducts his own investigation into the murder of his mother, believing it to be related to the disappearance of the girls. As dozens of characters are introduced their relationships to one another are expounded upon. Eventually the town comes apart at the seams losing its sense of civic-cohesiveness as neighbor fears neighbor.
This report prepared by David Fletcher








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Chapter Analysis of The Church of Dead Girls

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle    -   hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids    -   sinister, like an X-Files Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   licking    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas    -   descript. of male nudity    -   homosexuals doing their thing Unusual forms of death    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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