SCHISM is an atmospheric journey back in time to the year 1970, when drugs and anti-war protests dominated the headlines. This psychological suspense mystery follows the life of a middle-aged college professor, Jackson Boone, as he tries to unravel the truth about his girlfriend. He is in danger of losing his job, and perhaps his life, when he takes on a violent radical group in the process. Haunted by a past mistake, Boone tries to do the right thing in a world of increasingly ambiguous moral shadings.
Next Canto addressed the small, but well-lit kitchen. The refrigerator created a deep hum that might have been soothing in a larger space, but was irritating here. The lieutenant shook his head when he heard it. They opened all the cabinet doors and peeked inside the refrigerator. No dice. Miller was losing patience. He flipped on an old Magnavox table radio out of boredom.
“That figures. It’s dead.”
“Forget it, Miller. Help me move the fridge so I can see behind it.”
Miller checked the plug, and then he lifted the radio up to move it. “Something’s not right here, sir.”
“Let me see it,” Canto demanded. He picked up the radio. A heavy object was definitely loose inside which wasn’t original equipment. Miller produced a screwdriver from a kitchen drawer, and they removed the back panel.
“What in God’s name is this doing in here?” Canto asked. He pulled out a soldering iron, coils of wire, and a blasting cap from the empty shell of the radio. “It looks like there may have been more to Miss Riley’s life than just college classes and coke dates.”
Boone, a professor at Indiana University, finds himself at a transitional stage in his life. School’s winding down late May 1970. He’s certain the new administration will give him the boot, but needs to see Susan before he makes his next career choice. Susan represents everything good in his life from her youth, energy, and beauty.
She’s found hanging in her bathroom with a suicide note tucked in the mirror. It makes no sense. Boone swore she was happy, despite her irritation at keeping their relationship secret. An anonymous letter informs him Susan served as a member of a radical group called Weatherman Underground. The mystery begins. Unfortunately, alerting the authorities to this vital information will mean coming clean about his relationship with a student, which is sure to make the possibility of getting another teaching job close to impossible. To do nothing will not only allow Susan’s killer to go free, but would assist dangerous movement . Next time, the collateral damage could be more than one disenfranchised graduate student.
Author Eaves crafts a protagonist slightly left of center. An opinionated individual whose ideas and willingness to stand behind them puts him between the hippies and the traditionalists. His conventional heart, pride and vulnerability makes him a believable character. The backdrop of the turbulent decade increases the complexity and suspense of the story.
The reader discovers as Boone does, that things are not always, as they seem in this fast-paced novel. One thing that is certain; Gregory Eaves is a powerful, original voice.
Gregory Eaves was born October 18, 1950, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Speedway High School and Indiana University. In his twenties, he traveled extensively throughout the United States, with an eight year stay in San Diego, California, where he studied and practiced meditation.
Gregory moved to Florida and completed a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida.
Library school rekindled his interest in reading, which had been his favorite activity as a child growing up. Mysteries had been his first love, and he devoured his first mystery books with singular passion and zeal. Nothing else seemed to hit the sweet spot like reading The Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and Poirot. He later enjoyed authors like Raymond Chandler, John D. McDonald, Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and others.
SCHISM is Gregory’s first novel. His prior experience with writing included poetry and short stories. One of his short-shorts won runner-up in a contest in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
He now lives on the east coast of Florida, and when he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing guitar and collecting vintage stereo gear and vinyl records. He is a member of American Mensa.