A co-ed is found murdered on campus, her body scarcely touched. The killer paid meticulous attention to the aesthetics of his crime. Coincidentally (or not), a college custodian is also found dead.
While an epic rainstorm assails the Holyoake, New Hampshire campus, overflowing rivers and taking down power lines, a third crime scene is revealed: a professor, formerly a spy, has been shot dead in his home. A mysterious note is found that warned him to run.
Each victim is connected to the Dowbiggin School of International Relations, yet none seems connected to the other. The dead student was a close friend of Sergeant-Detective Émile Cinq-Mars's niece, so he puts his nose in; when internecine battles between police departments create a rift, he covertly slips into the crevice so he can be involved in the investigation.
Coming up against campus secrets, Émile Cinq-Mars must uncover the links between disparate groups quickly before the next victim is selected for an elaborate initiation into murder.
Perish the Day is a riveting new mystery from an author who "brings a literary fiction writer's sensitivity to nuance and feel for landscape to this fine, character-rich thriller with a bang-up finish" (Booklist).