Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Spire, by Richard North Patterson

This audiobook was obtained from Overdrive Audio, through the Alachua County Public Library web site. It was 11 hours and 3 minutes long, and was narrated by Holter Graham.

Mark Darrow was a star quarterback at his high school, but going nowhere, when he is offered a scholarship by the Provost at a local college that probably plays at division 3. It's a great opportunity for this orphan who lives with the family of his best friend, Steve Tillman. Mark accepts on the grounds that a place can be found for his Steve, and the Provost, ex-military Lionel Farr.

At the end of Mark's time at Caldwell College, he stumbles across the body of a young black woman, a student he knew fairly well, who was strangled at left at the foot of The Spire, a major landmark at the college. He is quickly cleared, but his friend, Steve, was the last person seen with her. He is arrested, tried and convicted.

Sixteen years later, Mark is a very successful attorney, and very recently widowed. The Provost calls him to come back and be the college President after the past President was investigated for embezzlement. Mark agrees, but he quickly finds himself at odds with a board that has its mind made up about how to pursue the investigation. And he just cannot let go of the unlikely conviction of Steve Tillman for murder.

Although it's hard to get past a 38 year old college President, the character is superbly written. And although figuring out the villain was not overly challenging, it was still a good story apart from that. I give it 3 stars.

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