by Jeff Kass
| Published 11-01-2017
Ann Arbor: a small city with a big university A city of cute coffee shops, leftover hippies, hybrid cars, indie bookstores, and craft breweries. A city, above all, that values education. Or does it? Jim Harrow has been an Ann Arbor cop for fifteen years. He mostly handles things like stolen cars and fratboy fights, giving him time to coach high school wrestling and help raise his teenage daughters. But things take a deadly turn the night of the Michigan–Michigan State football game, when a house party ends in a fire. Its single victim is a graduate student with no job, no friends, and no research. What was Sanders Bolgim working on, and why would someone want to kill him for it? Nothing about the case makes sense, and as Jim traces the events leading to the fire, he uncovers a shady party company, dark money buying for-profit charter schools, and a string of murders stretching back years. In a town where money and education are always in each other’s pockets, someone is paying a killer to teach the ultimate lesson. Kass’ debut novel is an astute commentary on the darker side of education reform wrapped in a gripping adventure. Filled with authentic characters, a strong voice, and the perfect portrait of a Midwest college town, Takedown is as sharp and crisp as a football Saturday.