The Spinning Man Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Spinning Man

Blue Hen, Feb 2003, 24.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0399149832

Professor Evan Birch is the chairman of the Philosophy Department at Pear College, an area of study that has very little student enrollment. He's happily married to his wife Ellen who works at the Institute for Private studies. They have identical twin ten-year-old boys Adam and Zed who give them very little trouble. They could be the role model of the idyllic American family until Detective Robert Malloy questions Evan concerning the disappearance of a sixteen year old girl.
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Joyce Bonner was last seen on August 23 in the information booth at a local party where she worked. An eyewitness reports that a gray car with a license plate starting with EZ was seen there with a man inside. Evan admits he was there, but insisting he was only formulating lessons for his class. The police doubt his statement and they repeatedly question him. Soon his friends, faculty members and family believe where there's smoke there's fire and question his innocence. Whatever the police finally determine, Evan realizes the stigma will always remain with him because people have long memories of the negative.

Taken from the headlines, the protagonist's guilt or innocence in the disappearance of the teenager is almost irrelevant because the media, his family and his co-workers have already convicted him whether he is innocent or not. Mindful of the rush to judgment to unfairly hang Richard Jewel a hero at the Atlanta Olympics, and apparently the current Anthrax investigation of Dr. Steven Hatfill, THE SPINNING MAN shows how lives can be ripped apart just by being a suspect in a criminal investigation.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Spinning Man

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%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:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for missing person 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:    -   Northeast

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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George Harrar Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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