Rupture, By Simon Lelic

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The Independent Culture

When a history teacher, Samuel Szajkowski, shoots three pupils dead during a school assembly before turning the gun on himself, it seems clear that he must be some kind of psychopath.

But during her investigations, Lucia May, the serious young policewoman in charge of the investigation, starts to piece together a picture of Szajkowski as both victim and perpetrator, though it's not the conclusion that the head-teacher wants to hear.

Subverting the more usual clichés surrounding tales of schoolroom massacre, debut novelist Simon Lelic skillfully interweaves witness accounts with events unfolding in Lucia's personal and professional life. This dynamic and youthful read captures the dog-days of the summer term in a drab inner-city school.