My dear friend and ally, Michigan-based novelist, Rafeeq McGiveron, recently released his flagship novel, Student Body; a psychological murder mystery, which dares to transcend the boundaries of genre, and strictly for the discerning reader. The book is available here.
A thoroughly-accomplished academic and analyst of classic literature, Rafeeq is a master wordsmith, whose command of the English language is second to none.
With a loving wife and three young children, the glib, cocky, but well-liked Rick O’Donnell seems to have a promising future ahead of him.
Yet the gifted doctoral student also hides a desperate secret: The previous spring, during a difficult time in his marriage, when it seemed his wife would scarcely even look at him anymore, the lonely man fell into a brief, passionate affair with a beautiful girl who had been his own student just the semester before, and who now is a fellow teaching assistant in the English Department, with an office right down the hall from his.
Rick’s interactions with the intelligent, sable-haired Lauren actually had been completely professional when she was in his own class, and after ending the affair that unexpectedly followed, he has committed himself most purposefully to his marriage once again. But now a simple clerical error suddenly brings the attention of Rick’s supercilious and overbearing supervisor. Unless the young man can head off the looming investigation by proving, quickly and conclusively, that there truly had been no hint of favoritism in his professional actions, surely the unrelated but equally damning affair will be revealed. His once-promising career, his marriage, and perhaps even his life itself all are in grave danger.
Sensual, poignant, and introspective, Student Body is a frank and intimate character study of hubris, desire, and yet also devotion. Witty and allusive and lyrical, filled with sensitivity and selfishness and self-reproach, the novel explores life and death and guilt and redemption. In a way, Rick’s choices have been made long before, for good or for ill, but it is this harrowing week and a half which will decide the deeply conflicted man’s entire future . . .
Copyright 2017 Peter Darley