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The Faculty Club
Danny Tobey
Atria Books 2010
307 pages hardcover

The Faculty Club is a page-turning thriller if you do not mind a heavy dose of fantasy. This mystery novel by new author Danny Tobey begins with great promise as the brilliant Jeremy Davis finds himself amazed by his being accepted into the most prestigious law school on the planet; one whose graduates span the upper echelons of the world's elite, powerful, wealthy and recognized, and where he, the small town boy, has a chance to prove himself, climb the ladder of business, and make his family proud.   Kindle edition

Davis' efforts are catapulted skyward when he is chosen to be a research assistant for the faculty's most revered professor and becomes someone beyond the student masses.

Soon, Jeremy receives a mysterious invitation to a cocktail party he learns is hosted by an exclusive, powerful, and clandestine organization, the V&D. (Skulls and Bones anyone?). He is one of three initiates. Davis initially falls prey to the darker instincts but then becomes both the hero and the hunted. A few more twists and the whole law school premise is blown out of the water.

This is where this Danny Tobey mystery novel takes a not necessarily appreciated turn from the power hungry cutthroat competitiveness which had the promise of good mystery into fantasy with the indescribably strange, dangerous, and seductive world of the V&D where members commit anything from the heinous to the macabre to achieve immortal success.

The Faculty Club by Danny Tobey becomes a fantasy novel with murder, cryptic mindbenders, hidden passages, escapes through dark tunnels in a sort of Paper Chase meets Indiana Jones meets Live and Let Die.

The Faculty Club is smothered by an overabundance of puzzles, myths, and legends borrowed from too many sources to be clear and consistent though Tobey does pull it back with a valid explanation.

Those who prefer a more standard mystery novel may not jump wholeheartedly into The Faculty Club. Readers with a penchant for action adventure and fantasy may want to give it a try.