It is only fitting that Artemis, the goddess of fertility and hunting, graces the cover of Donna Tartt’s superbly paced debut thriller, The Secret History. In a nod to the goddess of “swift death,” a closely knit group of college students, studying the classics at a small Vermont liberal arts institution, kills one of its own. In the echo chamber that results, morality walks on a slippery slope. This coming-of-age story (with glorious descriptions of Vermont) beautifully explores uncomfortable questions about ethics and courage. What’s scary here is not the crime itself but just how darned plausible Tartt makes it all seem.