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Author: Stuart Nachbar
Genre:Crime or Political Fiction
Registry #: nov027

In Defending College Heights, a veteran political reporter investigates the murder of an Army recruiter within a tumultuous college community.

BEACON POINT, NEW YORK: U.S Army Captain and recruiting commander Kevin Callahan is stabbed to death and his body is tossed in the guardhouse at the main gate to Hudson Technical University (aka Hudson Tech), an engineering school, historically friendly to the military, but also struggling to survive.

Regional media are not confident that the university administration and law enforcement officials will be able to collaborate to solve the case. At the same time, opposition to the war in Iraq and to military recruiting at high schools and colleges in the Hudson River Valley has attracted favorable press coverage.

Hudson Tech president Martina Tiernan does not have all of the university trustees in her corner, as she tries to rebuild the reputation of her school on the aftermath of the murder. Some trustees believe that the negative publicity from the murder has put the university’s future in doubt. They prefer that Hudson Tech close—and its campus sold for a more profitable purpose.

Angered by the lackadaisical efforts of the media, politicians, law enforcement officials and the university administration, Callahan’s uncle, Philadelphia political reporter Jack Donnelly, sets out to conduct his own investigation, unafraid to step on toes in a community where town-gown relations have reached their worst.

Fearing an investigation will further embarrass her school and set back eight years of institutional progress, President Tiernan asks Donnelly to become her special assistant. Tiernan allows Donnelly to investigate behind the scenes, provided he helps her deal with the public relations fallout from the murder—without speaking to the press.

Donnelly believes Tiernan is trying to buy his silence to save her school, but, for the sake of finding his nephew’s killer, he reluctantly accepts her offer to come aboard. He learns that his nephew’s murder was tied to much more than sentiments against Army recruiting. It was the lynchpin to a much larger scheme—one that threatens to close Hudson Tech’s doors—after 126 years—for good.


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