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Monday, December 02, 2013

Deadline by John Dunning

Deadline was originally published in 1995, and this recent edition contains an interesting preface detailing how and why Dunning came to write the novel.  I won't go into it, but it really is a glimpse into the background of the novel and why Dunning was able to write it so quickly.

Deadline is a stand alone novel and not part of the Cliff Janeway series, which I have enjoyed for years, but it a fascinating mystery nonetheless.  

Dalton Walker is an investigative reporter whose work won a Pulitzer, and even years later, his presence on a newspaper staff is considered a coup.  He has just begun a new job at a local paper.

Assigned what appears to be a fluff piece about an Amish girl who left her home and religious strictures behind to become a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall, Walker is not particularly pleased.  Walker is only one of several reporters who has tried to get an interview with Dianne Yoder, and when he, too, is turned down, he plans to abandon the piece.  His interest in Dianne Yoder, however, he pursues on a personal level.

The story that he is chasing on his own time involves an eight-year-old child who died in a fire at a circus.  Walker happened to be on hand at the time, and when no one claims the child's body his interest becomes overpowering.  Who would take a child to a circus and then not claim her body?

His interest in the case continues to compel him, and eventually, he does discover a clue to the child's mother.  His investigation leads to the FBI becoming involved, and then to a journey that may cost him more than his career.

Dunning is whetting his talent in this novel, and many don't feel that it compares to the Janeway novels, but I have to admit that I enjoyed it very much and that the preface about the unique way he created the outline for the novel is fascinating.

NetGalley/Open Road Media

Mystery.  1995 & 2013.  Print version:  224 pages.


  1. This sounds interesting. I, too. loved the Cliff Janeway series but sounds like this one is worth looking into as well. Thanks, Jenny.

  2. I have been curious about Dunning for a while, but haven't read him yet. Glad to hear you also think he is worth checking out!

  3. Teresa - It is always interesting to look at an author's early works!

    Kailana - You'd like the Janeway books because he is a book dealer!

  4. I've read a couple of his books and really enjoyed them. I'll have to hunt this one down. Nice review!

  5. Marie - I received this one from NetGalley, and I liked it--especially knowing how he came to write it.

  6. I enjoy reading how authors come up with their ideas or how they write stories, and so I can see the introduction to this re-issue appealing to me. I haven't read a book by this author, but I do want to.

  7. I love the Janeway series, although they are not always easy to find in the UK. I hope I don't have the same problem with this one as it is definitely going on my virtual tbr pile.

  8. Wendy - The Janeway series is very good, but I did like this earlier work and the new intro made it more interesting!

    Alex - :) Oh, that virtual tbr pile!