Author Carol Goodman returns with her latest novel, The Night Villa (2008). Classics professor Sophie Chase unexpectedly finds herself on the island of Capri involved in a research project she had hoped to avoid. However, following a shooting at the University of Texas where she teaches, Sophie finds herself taking the place of one of the victims on the project after she recovers from injuries she sustained on that fateful day.
Sophie, her student Agnes, her colleague Elgin and host of other academics spend the summer at the Villa della Notte which was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. While there, Sophie reconnects with her ex-boyfriend, Ely, whom she had lost to a cult years before. Ely, obsessed with Pythagoras, had joined the Tetraktys, a cult which was determined to find the lost writings of the classical mathematician. Sophie's agenda, however, is quite different. Determined to learn the truth about her dissertation's subject, Iusta, a female slave who had a controversial personal history, Sophie is in search of Iusta's diary which she believes is hidden somewhere in the villa or the tunnels beneath it. The team of archaeologists, historians, and theologians are guided by the writings of Phineas whose journal is discovered at the villa. As the team members translate his writings, their personal agendas begin to rise to the surface. As a series of suspicious events unfolds, Sophie finds herself unsure who she can trust. Ultimately, the team members get their due whether it be intellectual enlightenment, personal fulfillment, or a grim fate. Sophie finds the answers for which she had been searching along with some unexpected discoveries about those she had trusted.
Carol Goodman successfully weaves into her novels a sense that history is anything but in the past. She is also the author of The Sonnet Love, The Ghost Orchid, The Drowning Tree, The Seduction of Water and The Lake of Dead Languages. Goodman majored in Latin at Vassar College and eventually became a Latin teacher. She received her MFA from The New School and has had many short stories and poems published. Goodman resides on Long Island with her family.