David Carnoy. Knife Music (2010) 349 pp.
Dr. Ted Cogan is an emergency room surgeon at Parkview Hospital in Menlo Park. He is also single and has a reputation as a ladies’ man. Six months after saving the life of Kristen Kroiter, a 16-year-old accident victim, Cogan is shocked when he is questioned by police in the wake of her baffling suicide. Before she died, Kristen wrote in her diary that she had had sex with Cogan and that he was now refusing to talk to her. This claim is backed up by Kristen’s best friend, Carrie Pinklow, who claims she witnessed the act. Kristen and Carrie did spend a night at Cogan’s house, showing up there after Kristen passed out at a Stanford University fraternity party hosted by Carrie’s older brother. The girls were afraid that if Kristen went home in that state, her parents would punish her. If Cogan committed a crime—statutory rape—which indirectly led to the girl’s death, he could be held accountable. With the police following his every move, Cogan decides to take matters into his own hands by hiring an attorney—a former lover—and figuring out what really happened that fateful night.
Setting: Menlo Park; Palo Alto