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by Rick Mofina
Pinnacle, July 2005
347 pages
ISBN: 0786016973

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jason Wade is one of six interns at the SEATTLE MIRROR. who are all competing for a full-time reporter's position. He is very different from the other interns as he put himself through community college rather than going to an Ivy League school. Nor does he have the same experience working with other newspapers and magazines. Wade has one other thing working against him -- he is stuck working the police desk on the night shift.

Then Wade has a lucky break. College student Karen Harding disappears. Her car is found abandoned during a ferocious storm but she is not in the vehicle. While Wade hates the thought that anything happened to her, he is grateful for the chance to prove himself.

The only problem with his big story is that Karen's sister claims to have heard from her and everything is fine. Wade finds himself suspicious about the claim and continues his own investigation. Wade must see Karen face-to-face before he will believe she is OK. This quest might become deadly as Wade begins hunting down a kidnapper and murderer.

THE DYING HOUR intersperses Wade's search for Karen with Karen's own thoughts, fears and actions during her kidnapping. By combining these two viewpoints, this book is much stronger than other books in the same genre. Wade's investigation and Karen's struggle help keep the book fresh and the story moving along.

In addition to the plot being well-developed, the characters in THE DYING HOUR are appealing and help keep the book interesting. Jason has some internal demons but he is overcoming his past actions. And he has a strong sense of justice and determination to show the truth to all. These characteristics are important skills for a reporter and a protagonist. Karen Harding is a young woman and does not have the life experiences Wade does. But Karen does have a strong sense of self that allows her to survive all that happens to her. Karen's plight and her survival instinct make the reader hope she is rescued in time.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, June 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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