Review

Half-Past Dawn

by Richard Doetsch

There’s no denying that the job of District Attorney for New York City comes with its obvious risks. But the man occupying that office, Jack Keeler, never dreamed that he would one day wake up with a gunshot wound, strange writing on his arm, a missing wife, and no memory of the previous night. And when he opens the newspaper, the headlines deliver the shock of his life: District Attorney Jack Keeler Dead. The caption beneath the picture says that Mr. Keeler’s car went off a bridge, plummeting into the raging waters below. No bodies were found.

 
"HALF-PAST DAWN defies description. There simply has not been anything like it. Ever."
But if he’s standing here in his kitchen, alive, maybe his wife, Mia, is somewhere close by, too? It only takes him a few minutes to realize that she has been abducted.
 
The events of the days leading up to this mysterious morning start slowly trickling back into Jack’s mind. With two young daughters, he knows that it’s imperative to find their mother, for he believes his own days are numbered. But where to start? There must be a connection between the accident, Mia’s disappearance, his injuries, and at least one of their jobs. Before his election as DA, Jack had another career --- as one of New York’s Finest --- which now lengthens the list of possible suspects.
 
As he races against time, Jack finds himself enmeshed in a budding doubt. Can he save Mia? Is she already dead? Are his children really safe? Then, when he discovers who the mastermind behind the plot is, he wonders about his sanity. He’s chasing a dead man. Fortunately, he has an ally, his old partner Frank, right by his side. Together, they chase clues --- and some very talented criminals --- through New York.
 
Actually, Jack has a lot of help --- Frank; Joy, his secretary; Charlie, a cop in the Tombs; even his estranged father --- but the forces working against him seem to be winning. Oddly, an old Cotis priest aids Jack in his quest, despite the two never meeting face to face. The ancient Asian comes from a culture of high spirituality, something Jack really doesn’t believe in. But he will take help where he can find it, and if it means rethinking his beliefs, so be it. Besides, he is learning that little is as it seems.
 
“Reality is all a matter of perspective,” proclaims Jack’s father. The District Attorney of New York City is about to find out how true those words are.
 
With a wide cast of characters, including a self-made terrorist, a host of FBI agents, cops, attorneys, doctors, and the average man on the street, HALF-PAST DAWN defies description. There simply has not been anything like it. Ever. Sure, it’s a thriller. And a page-turner. And unputdownable. Full of nonstop action, mindbending switchbacks and psychological puzzles, it will keep you up far into the deepest hours of the night, quite possibly even until…half-past dawn. Richard Doetsch is undeniably the king of plot twists.
 

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on October 13, 2011

Half-Past Dawn
by Richard Doetsch

  • Publication Date: July 31, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • ISBN-10: 1439183988
  • ISBN-13: 9781439183984