Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
The Dispatcher - Ryan David Jahn In the first few pages of this novel, we meet Ian Hunt, a police dispatcher who gets a 911 call from his daughter, who has been missing for seven years. Four months ago, at his ex-wife's request, they had a funeral for Maggie, but Ian hasn't been able to let go of the hope that Maggie was alive.This book had me on the edge of my seat every time I picked it up; if I had coffee while reading it, I honestly thought I'd expire from anxiety. Jahn's present tense narrative has the effect of making everything immediate, and so I just chased line after line, desperate to get to the resolution.The novel alternates mostly between Ian, Maggie, and her kidnapper, and the additional viewpoints are both delightful and maddening. I wanted to get to The End, of course, but Maggie's interludes ratcheted up the tension while the kidnapper's POV just made everything creepier and creepier. Other characters got their own chapter now and then, which slightly affected the mood for me, but otherwise, I can't complain about the pacing or the vibe of the story. If thriller you want, thriller you get.Beyond the thrilling plot line -- will Ian be able to rescue his daughter? -- this novel also lifts up the damaging effects losing a child has on a person and a marriage. Ian is estranged from his son who was babysitting his daughter the night she was kidnapped; his tragedy is one in this town full of heartache and loss, one that marks him and yet makes him just another of the damaged. Contemporary thrillers aren't always my thing because I'm a wimp, and I get freaked out easily, and this book has tension and creepiness in spades. The story isn't gory, not exactly, but has some explosive violence that fits with the feel of the story and matches the plot -- but still squicked me out. In the end, this was a very fun way to spend a few days -- well, maybe not fun, but certainly engrossed -- and anyone who enjoys cinematic, tension-filled thrillers will dig this one.