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About The Department

Some secrets we keep even from ourselves

Philosophy professor Neil Weber can’t think of one good reason to get up in the morning. His wife has left him, his academic research has sputtered, and the prospect of tenure is more remote than ever.

Until Lucia Vanotti disappears.

A college student at the Southern university where Neil teaches, Lucia has a secret of her own—one that haunts her relationships and leads to destructive, reckless behavior. When Neil is drawn into the mystery of her disappearance, he finds himself suddenly relevant again. But at what cost? Each clue pulls him deeper into Lucia’s dark past, but also into the hidden lives of his closest friends and colleagues.

What drove Lucia to risk everything? And why does Neil, a professor who hardly knew her, care to find her? From campus classrooms to sex dens to backwoods hideaways, The Department shows the world through the eyes of Lucia and Neil as they descend into obsession, delusion, and the dangerous terrain of memory—uncovering the trauma that drives them to behave in ways even they themselves could never have predicted.

Perfect for fans of Tana French and Gillian Flynn