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Spotlight on: Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime by John Dunning

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Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime by John Dunning John Dunning, Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime

During a previous recommendation, I asked if you liked books. I also mentioned that I was reading a book by John Dunning suggested to me in a book by those authors (Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone). Well, this month is a little different.

What do you think of radio? Specifically old-time radio from the World War II era? It is a passion of mine, and if it is yours, too, then you will definitely enjoy this month's book, Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime by John Dunning.

Besides being well-known as a book expert (see his mysteries featuring Cliff Janeway: Booked to Die, and The Bookman's Wake), Dunning is also the author of The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. This wealth of knowledge informs this month's selection.

But besides involving radio, it even reads like radio. Dunning has written the first (to my knowledge) "radio novel." It is fast-paced, well-plotted, and full of drama. Even at 509 pages, it is what I would call a quick read. Plus it is full of characters that feel like real human beings; characters that you care about and care what happens to them.

The imaginative plot involves kidnapping, mistaken identity, murder, suicide, music, writing, and Nazis and is full of knowing references to radio of the 1940's. Dunning is a terrific craftsman and obviously knows his subject from the inside out. The scenes at the radio station are particularly evocative. To use a cliche, I felt as if I were there.

Additionally, non-radiophiles should enjoy it, as well. Any fans of solid thrillers will find plenty to like here.

After I read Booked to Die and this novel, John Dunning quickly moved to my "favorite authors" list.

(Other books by Dunning include Deadline--which is not so impressive, but is still worth the read--and The Holland Suggestions, which I have--as of yet--not read).

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