Sham Rock-Ralph McInerny

Sham Rock

Ralph McInerny

Minotaur, Apr 13 2010, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312582654

Because of the recession, financial adviser David Williams returns to his ala mater Notre Dame to visits his son attending classes there and to inform the university’s administration he cannot afford to finance a new building as he promised.  As David visits, another alumnus sends to the school’s associate archivist a box filled with newspaper clippings and various other sundry including the confession of a murder and burial of the victim, another student from the class of 89 Timothy Quinn, who had vanished two decades ago.

The school leadership, having used retired private investigator Philip Knight to work sensitive cases before, asks him to look into the Quinn situation.  With the help of his brother Catholic Studies Professor Roger Knight Philip begins his inquiry starting with a look back to 1989 when the “Trinity” of David, Timothy and Patrick were rivals and buddies.  Upon digging up the corpse, the siblings realize the case is much more convoluted than they expected.

The latest Knight brothers Notre Dame investigative tale (see The Green Revolution) is one of the better entries in what is a fun lighthearted private detective series.  The story line is fast-paced from the moment the archivist opens the box and never slows down as Philip with Roger assisting him begins the inquiry into what happened in 1989 only to find a much bigger case on their hands.  Ralph McInerny, who died in January, provides a strong Fighting Irish academic mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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