The Chatham School Affair

The Chatham School Affair

by Thomas H. Cook

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Attorney Henry Griswald has a secret: the truth behind the tragic events the world knew as the Chatham School Affair, the controversial tragedy that destroyed five lives, shattered a quiet community, and forever scarred the young boy. Layer by layer, in The Chatham School Affair, Cook paints a stunning portrait of a woman, a school, and a town in which passionate violence seems impossible...and inevitable. "Thomas Cook's night visions, seen through a lens darkly, are haunting," raved the New York Times Book Review, and The Chatham School Affair will cement this superb writer's position as one of crime fiction's most prodigious talents, a master of the unexpected ending.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553571936
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1997
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 428,991
Product dimensions: 4.29(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Thomas H. Cook is the author of many novels, including The Chatham School Affair, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel; Instruments of NightBreakheart HillMortal MemorySacrificial Ground and Blood Innocents, both Edgar Award nominees; and two early works about true crimes, Early Graves and Blood Echoes, which was also nominated for an Edgar Award. He lives in New York City and Cape Cod.

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Excerpted from "The Chatham School Affair"
by .
Copyright © 1997 Thomas H. Cook.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Chatham School Affair 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For reasons like The Chatham School Affair, Thomas H. Cook is my favorite author. This book, unlike some of his others, does not have the wrenching plot twists we have come to expect from Cook. It does have more subtle character twists. It does bring that that big payoff at the end, which fits very well into this story. The last page changes our minds about the main character. Very smoothly written, easy to follow despite the many characters. Each person has a place and is defined quite well. Cook has very good control over his use of suspense. The 'murder mystery' genre applauds this title. I reccomend reading this title over a few days. It's definitely not a one-day read.
painter1 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful command of the language, plots filled with tension and surprises. Cook never fails to give me a thought provoking read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Thomas Cook's books. He has such great imagination and a wonderful new twist on mystery. Read one and you will be hooked!
venicerose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, horror, but rarely read them because I don't care for the writing style. So I was so excited when I found Thomas H. Cook who can write like an angel and tell a whopping good story.
adithyajones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent read..The small town Chatham comes alive in Cook's beautiful writing,characters are so well flushed out that you feel for them...The suspense element is so well maintained,you are in anticipation of what happens next and in a language that can be described as poetic..
CatieN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Henry is a student at Chatham School. His father is the headmaster who hires a beautiful and intelligent Elizabeth Channing as the art teacher. Henry is quite taken with Miss Channing's stories and her independent spirit and begins to believe that his life is boring and staid and wishes for the freedom to do as he pleases. Miss Channing and another teacher, Mr. Reed, who is married and the father of a young daughter, fall in love, and the story quickly turns dark. Henry sees them as a romantic couple who should be set free to live life with each other, and with words he very much lives to regret, he sets in motion tragic and fatal events that still haunt him when he is an old man and the narrator of the story. Excellent writing with a great twist at the end.
librarygirls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chilling portrait of lives that come apart because of love between two teachers at a proper, conservative boys school. The story's narrator is an old man looking back on the events and remembering his role as the adolescent son of the school's headmater. Superb Story Telling!! SS
markatread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Chatham School Affair occurs in 1927. Elizabeth Channing's father had just died and she had come to Chatham School to be the new art teacher. Her father was a free thinker who believed that the passion an artist feels must be the artist's guide not the morals of others that are there only as a restraiant on the spirit of the artist.. The head master's 15 year old son, Henry Griswald is someone who already feels the suffocation of his own father's world and wants desperately to escape. When Ms. Channing begins a relationship with a fellow teacher who is married and has a child, Henry becomes their ally and wants them to be able to escape from Chatham and all the restraints he feels. This is the simple story that is The Chatham School Affair.There are two ways that the reader can look at this story. The first is the normal view that the author, Thomas H. Cook wrote the book and is solely responsible for the story. From the viewpoint, there is a heavy sense of foreboding from the very first page with the now almost 90 year old narrator, Henry Griswald, slowly telling the story in retrospect. The author tells the story in a very evocative, beautiful fashion, slowly having Henry divulge the secrets from 7 decades earlier. There is a very real sense of withholding information from the reader that is essential for the purpose of increasing the suspense for the reader. But at times this almost feels like the author does not actually have enough story to fill-up his book and is trying to stretch the story out long enough to still have something left to divulge when we get to the end. That in fact the foreshadowing of what will eventually occur feels heavy handed at times, even overwrought and repetitive.The second way of looking at the story is to see the writer of the story as actually being Henry Griswald, not Thomas H. Cook. What this does is change how the reader views the telling of the story. If Thomas Cook is the writer, he is just using Henry as a device to tell his story to us and the deliberately slow pace and the stretching out of the story end up being frustrating to the reader at times. But if Henry Griswald wrote the book, then the very slow and very deliberate pace of the story is very much in synch with how people tell their tales. Children may in fact blurt out what they have done and feel great remorse, but grown-ups who have held back and resisted telling the truth for seventy years, even to themselves, tell the story very delibrately with no need to hurry up and reach the end of the story. Henry is not stretching out the story or with holding details from us, he is slowy and painfully telling us what happened and what he did.If you read this book as if Thomas Cook wrote the book, you will feel frutrated at times and want him to hurry up and tell the story instead of hiding behind the narrator's slow telling of the story. But if you read the book as if Henry Griswald did in fact write the book himself- that he is not just a device used by Thomas Cook - then you will be able to slow down and let Henry tell you the story at his own pace. It is a slow and in the end it becomes a painful story, but you won't need to try and hurry him up. You will come to see that he told the story the only way he could, after not telling it for 70 years, he could only tell it very slowly and very deliberately. And in the end, he finally tells it all, even the part he has never told anyone before.
literati238 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely. It's at once mysterious and well-written.
cequillo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This remains one of my favorite of Cook's novels. Rich in atmosphere and question, it takes the reader into time and place so completely as to make the story remain lingering in your mind long after the last page is turned.
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A deeply suspenseful and atmospheric tale,the setting of which is cape cod in the 1920's. A story of impossible love, deep misunderstanding, obsession and betrayal...and betrayal on so many levels,from so many sources. It leaves you questioning who to blame.
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buryuntime More than 1 year ago
This book was okay, definitely not the best by Cook. It took me awhile to get hooked to the book but once that happened I didn't put it down. The whole book feels predictable until you get to the last pages and you're like "Oh". So when I got to the end it was a surprise but the rest of the book didn't keep me guessing... guess I should have been. =]
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