By Lawrence Schulenberg
Dry Bones Press - 2002
ISBN: 1931333122 - Trade Paperback
Contemporary Mystery

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.Com
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Loren Schneider contracted polio as a child and is forced to wear braces and use crutches. He is determined not to permit his disability to prevent him from having a normal life.
He succeeds with an excellent record at Emerson College. He is a senior, applying to various school districts for an English teaching job with an ongoing relationship with his classmate and fellow senior, Amy.

Loren is called in for a meeting with his college advisor, Dr Philip Wilson, who proceeds to inform him that there is no future in teaching for him, since no school district will hire a "Cripple". Loren is irate. He has never considered himself a cripple and has always wanted to teach. He and Wilson have a loud and violent argument. At the President's reception, he and Amy witness a tirade by Professor Yost who went berserk when informed that Wilson would become the new head of the English department. Yost feels that she is entitled and that Wilson is unqualified.

A short time later, Wilson is found strangled with his hand amputated. The police suspect Loren because of the argument, and Yost because of her tirade and the fact that the hand was found in her garden. With Amy's assistance, Loren searches Wilson's office in hopes of finding reasons for his murder. Their search uncovers unexpected and tragic information.

The atmosphere of college dorm life is very realistically portrayed. The feeling of a small academic world is a peaceful one. The relationship between Loren and Steve, his homosexual roommate is sensitively portrayed. The budding romance between Loren and Amy is a delight to watch. The characters are developed in depth from the self-promoting college president to the prejudiced fraternity brothers.
There is a feeling of close and understanding family relationships.

The subject of prejudices against those with disabilities and the ability of the disabled to overcome obstacles is thoroughly explored.


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