Review: New York District Attorney Jack Keeler wakes one morning to discover a gash on his head, a badly stitched bullet hole in his shoulder, an elaborate tattoo on his arm, and a newspaper headline reporting his death in Half-Past Dawn, a stand-alone thriller by Richard Doetsch.
Jack's routine rarely varies. His wife Mia usually leaves before he awakes and takes their girls to school. He gets up, lets the dog out, grabs a quick breakfast, then gets ready for work. But this morning is anything but routine. He has absolutely no recollection of being injured, and he certainly isn't dead. He tries to call Mia, but can't reach her. Fearing for her safety, he decides that if everyone thinks he's dead, he might as well be so … at least publicly. But he needs to trust someone, so calls on his good friend and mentor Detective Frank Archer. He also confides in his secretary, Joy. The only clue as to what might have happened is the tattoo, which includes writing in a language unknown to Jack. The three of them head to Columbia University, where they learn that the Coptic script reads that he would die on the first day of the seventh month — tomorrow. They have less than 24 hours to ascertain what happened to Jack, and find Mia and their children.
Half-Past Dawn is a tautly-written, suspense-filled novel, one that incorporates several mysteries. What happened to Jack? Why does everyone seem to believe the news reports that he's dead? Where is Mia? And why is someone doing this to him? Featuring creatively drawn characters and a compelling storyline, this thriller starts quickly, keeps up the pace, and captures the reader's interest from first page to last.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Half-Past Dawn.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided a copy of Half-Past Dawn for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Thieves of Darkness
Atria Books (Hardcover), August 2010
ISBN-13: 9781416598954; ISBN-10: 1416598952
Location(s) referenced in Half-Past Dawn: New York City
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Half-Past Dawn by Richard Doetsch
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $25.00