In the middle of his senior year at the Blackburne School in Virginia, Matthias Glass’s roommate and best friend Fritz Davenport runs off into the woods after the two boys have an argument–and vanishes without a trace. Ever since, Matthias has felt responsible, thinking that their fight, about a betrayal of the school’s honor code, led to Fritz’s disappearance.
A decade later, after an early triumph with his first novel, followed by too much partying and too little work, Matthias realizes he has stalled out and become a failure as a writer, a boyfriend, a man. So when he is offered a job at Blackburne as an English teacher, he sees it as a chance to put his life back together. But once on campus, Matthias gets swiftly drawn into the past and is driven to find out what happened to Fritz. Along the way he must reckon with Fritz’s complicated and powerful Washington, D.C., family and the shocking death of a student–and begin to understand his own place in the privileged world of Blackburne.
In the spirit of film noir, Shadow of the Lions takes plenty of dark, surprising twists–it’s a thriller, but also a moving debut that is as much about the mystery as it is about the redemption of a broken friendship and a lost soul.