Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crazy School by Cornelia Read

Santangelo Academy is unique - a crazy school for crazy teens and their equally crazy teachers. The students all have "behavioral problems" (like beating people) and are on medication. The teachers too have past "issues." Madeline Dare, the newest teacher, has a secret or two herself. The headmaster, guru, chief therapist, David Santangelo incorporates some rather unconventional techniques into his educational philosophy. His methods are dubious, to say the least. Two students die in an apparent joint suicide after a party (I use the term, "party," loosely, because Santangelo Academy is not a partying place) - or, as Madeline suspects, was it murder? She, too, drank the punch and became extremely ill - was it poisoned and by whom? I really like Madeline Dare. She's strong, resilient and quick with an acerbic comeback. I thoroughly enjoyed Read's snappy dialogue and her feel for the setting and context of her characters. And, for once, I didn't guess everything before the end. A fresh, new find for me. I had fun - and that's a good thing! Think I'll try her other Dare book - Field of Darkness.


terry said...

three books in a row about some shady goings-on (going-ons? goings-ons?) at schools. do i detect a pattern here?

Vidalia said...

It just happened that way - no great plan in place. Figured the school tag would come in handy later too - a school makes a great setting for drama, so I'm bound to stumble into more. High schools, awash in raging hormones, form particularly good settings.