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Whispers
by Chester Aaron

Category: Fiction / General
189 pages; ISBN: 1-55410-127-1

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Mayra Calvani

Review

Eve Gallagher is a twenty-one-year old journalism student at Saint Catherine’s College, a Jesuit-run institution in California . Brilliant, rebellious and driven, recipient of many awards, she is highly admired by students and staff alike.

However, in spite of her success, Eve is haunted by dark memories of her childhood, memories having to do with her sister Tessa, who died thirteen years ago under mysterious circumstances.

One night Eve’s best friend, Kirby, is brutally attacked—allegedly raped—in her dorm room. As reporter for The Trumpet, the college newspaper, Eve is compelled to write the story. Without being verified, the story goes to the media—the Associate Press and the seven o’clock news.

Brother Julius, the president of the college, accuses Eve of being unprofessional and a provocator and dismisses her from The Trumpet.

Enraged, Eve sets an emergency meeting with the Student Council to discuss the situation. Not only is her best friend in critical condition at the hospital, but she fears there is a horrible cover-up taking place on campus. Other women begin to step forward, declaring that they were raped but later urged by the Jesuit brothers to keep silent.

But is Eve’s obsessive—even pathological—search for truth and justice a natural wish due to her being a journalist, or does it go deeper? Indeed, it goes much more deeper. For what is happening on campus is a metaphor for what happened to her beloved sister Tessa thirteen years ago. In solving the mystery of the cover-up, Eve will finally solve the mystery of her childhood, and her mind and soul will be in peace.

There are two interlaced stories in this novel, both equally powerful and disturbing. Though the story begins like a traditional mystery, this is a mainstream novel and it should be read a such, keeping in mind that a formula-type ending doesn’t apply here.

The author uses present tense but this didn’t detract me from submerging into the story. The writing is heavy in dialogue and light in description, keeping in tone with the “journalistic” flavour of the story. This author has a distinctive style which I found to be forceful, intelligent and evocative. If you want to read a different mainstream story with mystery elements and an unexpected ending, give this one a try.





 

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