Repression, Obsession, Murder

Need a distraction? Three prickly, skin-crawling new thrillers will have you on the edge of your seat.

By Sarah Lyall

It’s unlikely that an art teacher as hot and louche as Mr. Lavelle could ever get a job at Temple House, an all-girls’ Irish Catholic boarding school run mostly by nuns. But there he is in all his sexual-innuendo-laden glory, bringing frissons of inappropriate excitement to the supposedly virginal students in Rachel Donohue’s steamily atmospheric debut, THE TEMPLE HOUSE VANISHING (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 304 pp., paper, $16.95). “My role is not to teach,” he declares pretentiously. “You rather must show me, tell me who you are through your work.”

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