Synopses & Reviews
Widely acclaimed for his groundbreaking crime novels Booked to Die
and The Bookman's Wake,
award-winning author John Dunning triumphantly returns with a riveting new thriller that takes us back to the summer of 1942, when radio was in its prime, when daylight saving time gave way to "wartime," when stations like WHAR on the New Jersey coast struggled to create programming that entertained and inspired a nation in its dark hour.
Into this intense community of radio artists and technicians in Regina Beach, New Jersey, come Jack Dulaney and Holly Carnahan. They are determined to find Holly's missing father, whose last desperate word came from this noisy seaside town. Holly sings like an angel and has what it takes to become a star. Jack -- a racetrack hot-walker and novelist who's hit every kind of trouble in his travels from sea to sea -- tries out as a writer at WHAR and soon discovers a passion for radio and a natural talent for script writing.
While absorbing the ways of radio, from writing to directing, he meets some extraordinarily brave and gifted people who touch his life in ways he could not have imagined -- actresses Rue, Pauline, and Hazel; actor-director Waldo, creator of the magnificent black show Freedom Road; and enigmatic station owner Loren Harford, among others.
Jack's zeal for radio is exceeded only by his devotion to Holly, who needs his help but who is terrified for his safety. Strange things are happening in Regina Beach, starting with an English actor who walked out of the station six years ago and was never seen again. And Holly's father is gone too, in equally puzzling circumstances. As Jack and Holly penetrate deeper into the shadows of the past, they learn that someone will do anything, including murder, to hide some devastating truths.
In a stunning novel that transcends genre, John Dunning calls upon his vast knowledge of radio and his incisive reading of history to create a poignant, page-turning work of fiction that sheds new insights on some of the most harrowing events of the twentieth century. Like E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate or Caleb Carr's The Alienist, Dunning's brilliant tale of mystery, murder, and revenge brings to life another time, another place, another world.
Linda Fairstein author of Cold Hit John Dunning, one of the master storytellers of our time, has written a hauntingly evocative tale of suspense. Set during World War II, Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime transports the reader. The mystery, the romance, the music, the voices of that era's radio, echo in memory long after the last page is turned.
Clive Cussler author of Atlantis Found John Dunning has to be one of the finest writers in America. As always, he has put together a winning mix of intrigue, romance, conspiracy, and shrewd villains. Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime is brilliantly conceived from start to finish. John delivers, and no reader could ask for more.
Janet Evanovich author of Hot Six What a great book -- full of suspense, romance, and mesmerizing old-time radio lore. And that wonderful 1942 station, WHAR, is in my favorite state, New Jersey! If you haven't yet discovered John Dunning, you have a treat in store.
Thomas Perry author of Blood Money A fascinating, rich novel, densely populated with realistic people who are inspired by their work, hate convincingly, do noble things out of love, and take great risks to solve mysteries that matter.
Stuart M. Kaminsky author of the Toby Peters novels and Vengeance Reading John Dunning's Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime is like going to radio lovers heaven. He brings the excitement of listening to and working in radio to life on almost every page. But he doesn't stop there. This WWII thriller set in and around a radio station in New Jersey in 1942 evokes the very style of old-time radio drama. It reads like the best of the radio thrillers. I love this book.
Greg Iles author of 24 Hours and The Quiet Game In a world of overhyped authors, John Dunning is the real thing. He has the storyteller's gift, mastery of the writer's craft, and deep insight into human behavior. Dunning's books are welcome gifts to us all.
Nevada Barr author of Deep South John Dunning never, ever disappoints. Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime has as many layers as history itself. This is a terrific book.
Peter Robinson author of In a Dry Season This is a beautiful and haunting book. Not only does Mr. Dunning offer us a terrific plot and intriguing characters, he also re-creates a whole bygone era and provides an insider's view of the workings of a small wartime radio station. Fascinating stuff.
About the Author
has revealed some of book collecting's most shocking secrets in his bestselling series of crime novels featuring Cliff Janeway: Booked to Die
, which won the prestigious Nero Wolfe award; The Bookman's Wake
, a New York Times
Notable Book of 1995; and the New York Times
and Book Sense
bestsellers The Bookman's Promise
, The Sign of the Book
, and The Bookwoman's Last Fling
. He is also the author of the Edgar Award-nominated Deadline
, The Holland Suggestions
, and Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime
. An expert on rare and collectible books, he owned the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver for many years. He is also an expert on American radio history, authoring On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio
. He lives in Denver, Colorado.