Shaye Areheart (Crown), Feb 2008, $24.00
At Winchester University in Indiana, Professor Williams teaches Logic and Reasoning 204. He explains to his class that there is no text, no syllabus, and no lectures. Instead they have one assignment. Based on clues he provides and they find, the students must locate a missing teenager Polly within six weeks or she will die.
All the students assume this is an academic exercise and that no one is in jeopardy of murder. However, rather quickly three of the pupils begin to believe Polly not only exists but that she will be killed if they fail to rescue her. As Professor Williams provides the class with photos of Polly and other clues that affirm she lives for now, the trio panics that a D in this class means dead.
None of the prime players (the professor, the three students, and the maybe living Polly) come across as fully developed, but no one will care as it is the suspenseful storyline that grips the audience from the moment Williams explains the assignment. Readers will wonder if Polly is real and in danger, but also will ponder whether the trio is in peril. Fans of tense intriguing conspiratorial thrillers will want to attend Professor William’s Logic and Reasoning class.