If you enjoy murder mysteries, you're really going to like this. The story takes place around the 1990s, revolving around six college students (five boys and one girl in their 20s) enrolled in a laid back American town.
NLB Call No.: TAR
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The story is told from the perspective of a young man, Richard. What's interesting is that by the first paragraph of the novel, you're already told that Bunny is they guy who gets killed, and Richard and the rest seems to have gotten away with the deed (yet you're not quite sure yet).
The novel proceeds at a leisurely pace yet not boring, mind you (quite a delft stroke or storytelling which I thought is refective of the quite and laidback mood of the surroundings in which they meet and form their bonds. The characters slowly develop with complex layers added as the story proceeds.
You learn more about Henry, the quiet intellect and unspoken leader of the group. Francis is a closet gay; Charles and Camille are twins; then there's 'Bunny'. You can't help but dislike the guy (a sponge, taking advantage of the good will of others). Yet halfway after I learn why they killed Bunny, I couldn't help but pity Bunny and thought that no one deserves to be murdered.
Before long, I was asking asking yourself what was it that made them want to murder Bunny and the beauty is that the reason is revealed right smack in my face -- not quite a slap but more like a gust of wind. As suddenly as that.
The story doesn't stop there. It's only halfway. The police and FBI gets into act when Bunny is discovered missing. I started wondering if the five of them get caught? More complex layers are added to the characters as they get caught up in the crime investigation.
The Greek Tragedy also plays itself out, but alas I'm know very little about Greek Tragedies. I'm sure if I did, I'd appreciate the novel even more. I suspect the whole story is a Greek Tragedy in itself. I understand that Greek Tragedies were dedications to the gods... which in a way, that was what they were doing.
Ok, so do they get caught? You'll have to read the book! And then reflect on why the title is called "Secret History"...