“There is no den in the world to hide a rogue…commit a crime and the world is made of glass.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Getting out of Seton Hill University’s MFA program with degree in hand required that I write a novel as my thesis. The result is Rogue, a hybrid mystery/thriller set in rural Western Pennsylvania. Rogue is an introspective first person narrative told by a school administrator who finds himself at the center of two murders. When he’s accused of murdering a suspected child molester, he’s forced to rely on his own resources, a hard drinking hired hand, and an eccentric neighbor lady to find the real killer and save his life, his career, and his love.
Rogue is not only entertainment. It invites the reader to consider serious questions surrounding society’s ability to detect those who sexually abuse children and how the legal system can be both a help and an obstacle to protecting children. It also raises the recurring question of whether the rough justice of the vigilante is ever justified.
Aggressively paced, and with an engaging, sympathetic protagonist, Rogue is the product of much of what I learned at Seton Hill. The Seton Hill MFA program uses the thesis novel as an intense teaching tool and I owe an immense debt to the two faculty mentors who patiently supervised the Rogue manuscript. Patrick Piccarelli is a successful true crime writer and a graduate of the Seton Hill program. Rebecca Drake has published five thrillers and recently released her second work in hard cover. I learned a lot from both of them.