Christopher Swann is chair of the English Department at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School in Atlanta, where he has taught English for 21 years. He attended Woodberry Forest School, an all male boarding school in Virginia, for all four years of high school. He has a B.A. with honors from Washington and Lee University, an M.A. in English/creative writing from the University of Missouri Columbia, and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. He now lives in Sandy Springs with his wife and two sons.
How long must we pay for the crimes of our youth? It has been almost ten years since Matthias graduated from the elite Blackburne School, where his roommate and best friend, Fritz, fled into the woods, never to be heard from again, in the middle of their senior year. Fritz vanished just after an argument over Matthias's breaking of the school's honor code, and Matthias has long been haunted by idea that his betrayal led to his friend's disappearance.
Years later, after hitting the fast lane in New York as a successful novelist--then falling twice as hard--Matthias is stuck, a failure as a writer, a boyfriend, a person. When he is offered the opportunity to return to Blackburne as an English teacher, he sees it as a chance to put his life back together. But once on campus, Matthias gets swiftly drawn into the past, and is driven to find out what happened to Fritz. He partners with a curmudgeonly local retired cop and tries to solve the case, dealing with campus politics, the shocking death of a student, Fritz's complicated and powerful Washington, D.C., family, and his own place in the privileged world of Blackburne.
In the spirit of film noir, what follows is a tale full of unexpected turns. Shadow of the Lions is a gripping literary thriller, but also a moving coming-of-age story that is as much about the mystery as it is about the redemption of a broken friendship and a lost soul.