Master of the Delta by Thomas Cook

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Friday, Apr 2, 2010

Master of the DeltaIn the early 1950s, Jack Branch returns to his home town of Lakeland to teach at the the local high school as his father did before him. The Branchs are the aristocracy of this southern community and Jack has attended some the finest private schools and universities. The Branchs see teaching as the "noblesse oblige " to the community that has been the family home for more than a hundred years. Jack is challenged by his unmotivated students and attempts to engage them by introducing a course on evil. He peppers his lectures with examples of horrid deeds from the past such as the shipwreck of the Medusa. He shows his students pictures of the famous painting The Raft of the Medusa which depicts the ravaged and cannibalized shipwreck survivors. The semester assignment for his students is to write a paper on a sinister person from the past or present. Popular choices are Hitler, Stalin, and Judas. However, one quiet student, Eddie, chooses to write about his father known as the Coed Killer. When a lovely high school student is reported missing and possibly last seen with Eddie, a sequence of events begins that changes the lives of many Lakeland residents including the Branchs.This story is told in a series of flashbacks referring to police reports and court documents. From the first pages, we know that something disastrous occurs but details are not revealed until the end. This book is full of twists and turns with an ending that is suprising yet plausible.

Written by Pam W.