John R. Taylor. Only in Berserkeley (2014) 299 pp. [tpo]
Publisher’s description: “UC Berkeley is under siege. A serial killer prowls the campus committing savage, sacrificial murders, paralyzing the university with dread and fear. Self-proclaimed the Gatekeeper, he owns the night and hunts down his prey with methodical precision. He is also haunted by macabre nightmares. Subconscious, long-repressed memories of an unforgivable sin drive him to seek redemption. In his delusional belief system, the Gatekeeper performs occult ceremonies to resurrect his victims to atone for his heinous act and relieve his tortured conscience. UCPD Detective Terri Watts is tasked with investigating the brutal slayings. The killer’s grisly MO tells her that the slaughter will continue unless she stops him. The Gatekeeper plays a cat and mouse game with Terri, taunting her with condescending letters and a limerick meant to flaunt his intellectual superiority. Yet as the body count mounts, he attempts to bond and establish a rapport with Terri, which sets the stage for their climactic confrontation. The UC campus is under another kind of siege. A small army of eccentric misfits routinely participate in zany demonstrations and protests, which confirm that Cal is the Mecca for agitators everywhere. A kooky cast of madcap activists spearheads the invasion into legendary Sproul Plaza to spread their quirky gospels. The Naked Guy, Lorena the Feminist, Karl the Marxist, Stoner Joe, Drag Queen Quentin, Brother Monk, Tree Hugger, Roger the Rapper, T-Bone the Clueless Jock, and zealots of all persuasions create chaos and contribute to the university’s disparaging nickname: Berserkeley.”
Setting: Berkeley (UC Berkeley)