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Who is Jake Dumas? Intelligent, well-read and articulate, New Hope High School’s custodian is an enigmatic man of mystery. Often scorned or ignored by students and faculty alike, he is, however, befriended by two people: the lovely and feisty school librarian, Rosie Green, who seems to have developed a romantic interest in him, and the previous year’s All-State, high school All-American quarterback, Blaise Honeycutt, who after finding himself in academic trouble turns to Jake of all people to help him bring up his grades. Jake then finds that it is not all about grades. His protégé is hiding a loathsome secret. But then again, so is Jake.

It will be a dismal, even chaotic year for New Hope High. As Blaise and two of his all-star buddies were suspended by the former, hated principal, Horatio Sharpe, for a senseless prank, last year’s State Football Champs will experience their first losing season. Adding insult to injury, Cecil Meadows, a Negro, is appointed the new principal of the school during a hot bed of racial tension in 1963 Alabama. And then the Town of New Hope learns that its beloved high school will close at the end of the school year because a new school is being built in the next county. But as all that should be enough to shake up the town, it seems that somebody has been found murdered at the school. And it is Jake who discovers the body.

In this compelling story of murder, romance, unimaginable heartache and unfailing encouragement, two valiant men, one older and one younger, struggle with life’s disappointments, tragedies and secret haunts in their fight to overcome adversity.

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