The Philosopher and the Assassin

Below is a preview of what I’m working on for my next book. It’s a fusion of campus novel, moral philosophy textbook and whodunnit. A tricky combo, but I like to do things differently! I’m going for Sophie’s World/Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Agatha Christie meets Textbook of Moral Philosophy with a touch of The History Men/Stoner/The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Chapter 1

As a lecturer in a modern university, I am required to be: academic scholar, researcher, grant writer, educator, in loco parentis, therapist, inspirational speaker and ‘edutainer’. In addition to teaching my core subject, moral philosophy, I must integrate into the curriculum: sustainable development goals, decolonisation, critical thinking, inter-disciplinarity, and diversity. I must also give trigger warnings of upsetting topics, especially in light of a growing eco-anxiety, which can come into play when integrating sustainability into the curriculum. And all this for a salary less than my son makes for his job in marketing.

So this is me rising to the challenge. I’m going to revert to the case study method popularized by Harvard. But with a nod to the context within which I find myself, where students are no longer companions in learning but customers to be provided a service, I shall endeavour to be entertaining.

In the following pages, you will encounter murder, sex, drugs, betrayals and ethical dilemmas. The story is part morality tale, part whodunit, and part ethical analysis of a character who went from being an upright pillar of the establishment to vigilante. I will invite you to make your own moral judgements. In deference to your learning outcomes, I shall lightly season with some moral philosophy. It’s going to be full on, state-of-the-art edutainment. You can at the end rate me with a number of stars.