Okay, it was the tag line on the cover of The Dispatcher that grabbed me first....
"The phone rings. It's your daughter. She's been dead for four months."
....and the story held me gripped until the last page.
Ian Hunt is a police dispatcher in a small town in Texas. That frantic, fateful call is from his daughter Maggie, who disappeared seven years ago and was finally declared dead. Maggie manages to get out a brief description of the man who has taken her, but not his name, before the call is cut off.....
Ian has existed, but not lived for the last seven years. The call galvanizes him and while the county and town police forces are bickering about jurisdiction, sets off to find his daughter and bring her home.
Right from the start, we are privy to all the information that Ian doesn't have. We know that the kidnapper is named Henry and where Maggie is being held. Jahn takes us inside the minds of each of the main characters. Henry's mindset is truly frightening. He's done all this because he loves his wife, not for himself. Maggie's terror is palpable and heartbreaking, she has survived for seven years locked in a basement except for that brief taste of freedom. She is sure her Daddy will come for her.
Ian is now a single minded entity, bent on getting Maggie back at all costs. He has taken the law into his own hands. Quite literally. There was a scene in the book that quite reminded me of Reservoir Dogs.
"There was a time, and not long ago, when he would not have been capable of doing what he plans on doing here tonight, if he has to, but that time has gone, a small moment in his past that gets smaller as he moves further from it and into the future."
The bleakness and hardscrabble of the settings was used very effectively to mirror the emotions and thoughts of the players.
Ryan David Jahn's book is a no holds barred ride barrelling down a gritty dirt road. The story line is not a new idea (young women being held captive for years is unfortunately true) but Jahn has put his own spin on it and crafted a page turner. (one you'll probably devour in a day). My one complaint - I hate open endings.
Those looking for a thriller that will keep you turning pages will find it here. Reader be warned - there are some violent scenes. In fact, it almost has the feel of a Bruce Willis action film.
Sounds good doesn't it? Read an excerpt of The Dispatcher. See what others on the TLC tour thought. You can find Jahn on his blog as well as on Twitter.
And thanks to the generosity of Penguin Books, I have a copy to giveaway! Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada. Ends March 11.