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Hypocrisy and racism are rampant at Tolchester-Coates, a multicultural prep school outside Boston, in Peffer's downbeat third Cape Islands mystery (after 2006's Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues). When black student Liberty Baker is found in her dorm bathroom with her wrists slashed, an apparent suicide, Liberty's proctor, Awasha Patterson, suspects foul play. Liberty received a crude warning note while she and Hong Kong student Gracie Liu were researching a term paper about TC's clandestine societies. "There's something evil at work in my school," Awasha tells a detective after old bones turn up in a dorm attic. Cape fisherman Michael Decastro's prolonged probes raise suspicions about why headmaster Malcolm Sufridge (aka "Bumbledork") suppressed accounts of the Red Tooth society and its splinter group, Club Tropical. With its stereotypical characters, familiar issues and implausible ending, this bitter tale will appeal primarily to the teen rebel crowd. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.