Nondisclosure by Geoffrey M Cooper

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

As a department chair at a prestigious research university, Brad Parker thought the worst part of his day was going to be explaining a budgetary discrepancy of twenty thousand dollars to the dean. But that was before a preeminent fellow researcher comes to him with the account of a drugging and sexual assault of a female student by a mutual colleague. When Brad first teams up with investigator Karen Richmond to look into the allegations, the evidence seems fairly cut-and-dried. However, when the student is found brutally raped and murdered shortly after her memory of the initial assault returns, the doubts Brad has harbored all along as to the real identity of the assailant only intensify. It will take Brad’s dogged determination, some good old-fashioned detective work, and a budget that just won’t add up to identify the true killer. Now Brad and Karen only have to piece it all together before the killer silences them first.

Geoffrey M. Cooper’s sophomore novel, Nondisclosure, successfully continues in the same vein as The Prize as a story of murder and deceit within the world of scientific research and academia. While the previous sentence may have some presupposing readers thinking yawn, they would be sadly mistaken. Worse yet, they would miss out on a fast-paced, tightly-written, can’t-put-it-down read. Cooper’s writing is clean and crisp and smart; the plot is well-structured and the characters are clear-cut and relatable. In Nondisclosure, the author tackles the charged issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. This is often a tightrope of a topic about which to write—too much #MeToo and you’re a feminazi, be too cavalier or ignorant about sexual harassment and you are a toxic male. Cooper competently walks that line with thoughtfulness and respect throughout the story. All told, Nondisclosure is an outstanding murder mystery, one that should help Geoffrey M. Cooper continue to make a name for himself as an intelligent, thoroughly entertaining writer.