In the opening hours of October 19th, twenty-five-year-old Lark Chadwick finds her aunt Annie Chadwick dead in the home they share. While death by carbon monoxide suggests a classic suicide, Lark is suspicious. As she reflects:"Suicide. The word stuck in my throat. I couldn’t believe that Annie would even consider the ultimate rejection of life and hope. The ultimate rejection of family and friends. The irrevocable rejection of me."
To distract Lark from her grief and what might be developing paranoia, a friend suggests she explore some puzzles from her own history. Orphaned as an infant, she has only the sketchiest information about how her parents were killed. In the 13 days between October 19th and October 31st, our heroine learns lessons that will last a life-time, discovers strengths she didn’t know she had and sets a course for her future.
In his first novel, Fast Track, long-time newsman John DeDakis takes the reader on a rapid-fire, exciting, twisting tale full of mystery, red herrings and split-second action. Once you pick the book up, you won’t want to put it down until you have all the answers.
Writing in the first person voice of a young woman, child-of-the-sixties DeDakis has set himself an interesting craft challenge. As a woman, I found Lark’s voice convincingly feminine – and I mean that as a completely sincere compliment.On the other hand, being of his own generation, I was less convinced that the author understands how women a generation younger than ours experience relationships – but I’ll leave the verdict on that to people who grew up in the eighties and nineties. (I’m hoping I’ll get some direct feedback, which, of course, means I hope many of my younger friends – as well as my age peers -- will read the book!)
Whether you read for the engagement of the read or for craft as well as pleasure, I suggest John DeDakis’ Fast Track is a perfect choice for an October weekend (or any other time, of course)!
And John’s publisher is up on all the latest and greatest, so you can order the book in the traditional hard-back format or in a soft binding that has a magazine feel or, for the digital avant garde, it’s available on Kindle. You in the latter group could be reading just moments from now!
Review by Janet Hale Tabin, http://janetsweblog.blogspot.com/