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WITNESS TO DEATH - Review

The return of Dave White is a pretty big deal around The Hungry Detective offices. It has been a few years since the release of THE EVIL THAT MEN DO.  That book was one of the best books I read that year. We are excited to see the release of WITNESS TO DEATH. Market forces change and so WITNESS TO DEATH has been released as an e-book exclusive. Over the last dozen years or so I have lost too many good authors while the James Patterson's of the world infect us with their brand of story telling. If you enjoy Mr. Patterson's work, then great. I don't mean that sarcastically in the least little bit. But make no mistake the success of Mr. Patterson is screwing the mid-list author. Okay, so rant over. On to the book.

WITNESS TO DEATH comes as I have sworn off the thriller. No longer could I take the pulse pounding excitement of flaccid writing, confused plotting, or shades masquerading as characters. Dull upon, dull. Fortunately, Mr. White has never had that problem. He has always been able to build stories with the right balance of suspense and contemplative character study. WITNESS TO DEATH continues a pretty solid track of success. While I have to concede that it is not as good as either of his Jackson Donne books, it is still hugely enjoyable. 

Driving WITNESS TO DEATH is Frank. Frank is a trained to kill government agent who is out there on the front line protecting America from the terrorists who would do harm to innocent people. Frank is the bad-ass. All reaction, things happen and he responses with deadly force. His actions are sure, and smooth. The thing is Frank is not the hero of WITNESS TO DEATH. Our hero is John Brighton, Middle School teacher. This is where Dave White has always been very clever, very smart. He builds a character that is like us. Regular, normal. A guy with real fears. It is this reflection of ourselves that draws us in. Sure about half way through the book, John starts to do thing we would never conceive of doing, but we hope. We hope that when push came to shove we would stand up and do what is right and just. As readers we may want to be a Frank or Lee Child's Jack Reacher, but for most of us we just simple do not have the skills. But John Brighton I know. I see him in the mirror everyday. And just like him I hope that I will find the courage to do the right thing today.

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