The Campus Murders
The original 1969 cover
|Author||Gil Brewer (as Ellery Queen)|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Followed by||The Black Hearts Murder|
The Campus Murders is a 1969 paperback novel by Gil Brewer (1922–1983) published under the name Ellery Queen. It is the first of three novels to feature "troubleshooter" Mike McCall, a U.S. governor's special assistant.
In The Campus Murders, McCall is sent to Tisquanto State College to investigate the disappearance of a female student. Rather than for its largely predictable plot, the novel is remarkable for its depiction of late 1960s student life. McCall, who is in his early thirties, is confronted with radical, violent, long-haired, dirty, drug-taking, and promiscuous students on the one hand and traditional faculty on the other who are unable to understand what is going on around campus and who do not know how to react adequately to the demands voiced by hippies and yippies.
Against the background of a student rebellion, two murders are committed on the Tisquanto State College campus. The first victim is one of the conservative deans, who is stabbed after his life-size effigy has been burned on a stake specially erected by a group of students. The second victim is a female student whose body is found dangling from a rope in the campus bell tower. The missing student is found near a river, severely beaten up and in a coma. In the end it turns out that one of the rebellious students is the killer. However, the murders are nothing to do with radical student politics: In a drug-induced frenzy, the killer has murdered the people who stood in his way to personal success or who were threatening to expose his criminal schemes.
- Hillary Waugh's Last Seen Wearing … also revolves around a female college student who goes missing.
- Malcolm Bradbury's The History Man is about the goings-on at a "progressive" university in the South of England.
- Todd Gitlin's The Sixties. Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1987) is a first-hand account by a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
- See also the list of plays and novels at School and university in literature.