DEATH OF A CHANCELLOR by Warren Carrier

DEATH OF A CHANCELLOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Who killed Bill Train, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Silvertown? That's the question for narrator-hero Scan Fogarty, a local lawyer who is urged by wife Susie to look into the case--especially when their friend Hannah Train (the murder victim's widow) becomes one of the many suspects. In a rather plodding manner, Fogarty considers all the possibilities: angry faculty members, unpromoted or dismissed; an expelled black student; administrative rivals; campus drug-dealers about to be exposed. Thanks to a clumsily planted clue, there's even much speculation about the late chancellor's involvement with international espionage. But any mildly experienced reader will sense from the start that these are all highly red herrings. And indeed, after being handed a crucial piece of new evidence Fogarty quickly wraps up the case with an out-of-left-field solution--arrived at through luck rather than deduction. This is utterly amateurish work, in fact, right down to the book-jacket design--which points straight to the real culprit. Fogarty's narration is saturated with provincial attitudes. And sophomoric is the only word for his in-joke of naming minor supporting characters (Randy Jarrell, Seamus Heaney, Robert Warren, Emil [sic] Dickinson) after fellow poets. Still: harmless, folksy fodder.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Dodd, Mead