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The Dispatcher

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Ian Hunt is the police dispatcher for the small town of Bulls Mouth, East Texas. Just as his shift is ending he gets a call from his fourteen-year-old daughter, Maggie.

Maggie, who has just been declared dead, having been snatched from her bedroom seven years ago. Her call ends in a scream.

The trail leads to a local couple, but this is just the start of his battle to get hi
Kindle Edition, 351 pages
Published December 11th 2011 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2011)
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Seven years and counting your cherished daughter, has been gone. You buried an empty casket, you need closure, you need to put her body to rest.
It must be unimaginable the grief, memories and the sorrow that you have to deal with on a daily basis. The vengeance and the anger must be an unrelenting force. Still you keep your job answering calls as a dispatcher, calls of others in need, calls of emergencies. Meanwhile your life fragments and disappears slowly before you.
What can our main protagoni
After finishing this book, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. It definitely had an impact on me that stayed with me. The first half of the book is very realistic and reads almost like a true crime book. But about half-way through the novel something changes and some plot elements are added that seem implausible to me. Those plot developments were not related to the violence in the book (which was quite graphic) but more related to things that happen that I can't see happening in reality. I ...more
Wow! This book is fast paced, violent and bloody! I felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. The determination of this father to get his daughter back is incredible. At the same time the insight to the mind-set of the "bad guys," is a whole different perspective. Well done!
Maria Ulery
Well if you like criminal minds you will like this book! I never heard of this author but loved the jacket and what it was about so I bought it a few yrs ago wish I would have read it sooner! Yikes....Ian Hunt gets a 911 call (as he is the dispatcher) and its his daughter who was kidnapped 7 yrs ago! Daddy I need you he is coming! What would you do! OMG I was freaking thinking ok is this a trap to draw this guy out and kill him? No not really it seems Henry Dean lives with his wife Bea and their ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
On first look, and perhaps the next several looks as well, The Dispatcher is a gritty story of revenge, of vigilante justice. It reads somewhat like an episode of CSI, Law and Order or Criminal Minds, if those were told from the perspective of a third person narrator, so that the audience knows what every party is thinking. Violence, action, and horrible people abound.

More than that, though, this book is a study in psychology and human nature. Jahn considers what humans are capable of doing when
Ryan G
I can't recall a ton of books that I've read over the last few years that deal with a father doing everything they need to do to protect their child. Other than Cormac McCarthy's The Road, my brain is a little stumped trying to remember another book that I've read that deals with the specific relationship of father and child. I don't even think I could name a book I've seen reviewed somewhere else in the last few years that reflect such a perspective. I could name off tons of book that deal with ...more
Elizabeth A.
What means the most in life to you, and how far would you be willing to go to attain or keep it? Those questions are at the core of author Ryan David Jahn’s The Dispatcher, the follow up to his CWA John Creasey Dagger winning Acts of Violence.

Ian Hunt is a police dispatcher in Bulls Mouth, Texas whose life pretty much fell apart seven years ago on the night Maggie, his seven-year-old daughter, was kidnapped from her own bed. His marriage limped along for a bit before finally calling it quits, an
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
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 eve
This was a hard book for me to read. I usually don't like to read books that leave me all bloody. This book is written very graphically which was hard for me. Not my usual read. But it was for a book club discussion so I read it - in two evenings. I could not stop from reading it. It was like being at a train wreck. I had to know if the girl was saved. The author seems to bring the "hero" down to the level of the villain. The story left me wonder how life would ever be redeemable again for him. ...more
Deirdre O'Flynn
This is a great premise for a novel – your daughter’s on the phone, except she’s been missing for seven years and you attended a funeral for her four months ago so her mother could get ‘closure’.

Jahn’s novel sort-of lives up to its promise – it took me a while to adjust to the staccato style of his writing. In parts, I felt the novel read like a film script, with detailed descriptions of each move made in a particular sequence by a particular character. What kept me engaged was the freshness of
Lynda Kelly
I enjoyed this although felt it got a tad farfetched at one point. However, it didn't carry on heading in that direction so all was well. I had some confusion too-the title on the book is The Dispatcher yet Amazon call it Dispatcher. Seemed strange.
It was a fascinating premise with Ian the dispatcher answering the phone to a caller who he recognises as his daughter who'd disappeared seven years before. Dum, dum, now he's guaranteed that she's still alive he is determined to do everyth
Sally Boocock
I didn't really like the main character Ian Hunt but liked Diego who gets drawn into Ian's plans through no fault of his own. It is a bit gory in places but a fast paced story.
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I love a good thriller and the publisher's summary pulled me into giving this one a go.

When I sat down to start reading this book which has closer to 400 pages than 300, it was early in the morning and little did I know I would be in the same spot that evening tapping to the final pages of this addictive read. My back was sore, my thumb ached (from tapping pages on my Kindle Touch) but I had just been on the most thrilling ride of my recent reading life. I've read some pretty
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I saw a review of The Dispatcher in my RSS feed st Jenn's Book Shelves but since it was past the publication date I thought it would no longer be available. To my surprise it was still listed so I decided to request it anyway and to my surprise I was approved a few days later. It was both the premise and Jenn's review that I found intriguing. A small town emergency dispatcher receives a call from a phone box, his daughter, who has been missing for seven years, is begging for his help. With singl ...more
Well- what can I say? The genius of Jahn is in evidence again in this new thriller which again is distinctly different to his first two books. In a lesser author's hand this could easily have been boxed in with the Harlan Cobens and Linwood Barclays but thanks to Jahn's depth of characterisation this is altogether a more meaningful read. I loved some of his little descriptive flourishes, the injection of some brilliantly dark one-liners,and the sheer wretchedness of emotion that Ian Hunt goes th ...more
this is the first book I have read by this author and I must say that at first it was not what I expected, but turned out to be very exciting and my kind of book. This book involves a very heinous crime of kidnapping and what one father and his, partner will do to save the father's daughter. This book also has lots of ups and downs but in the end all is well I hope I didn't give away the ending.

At first I thought this book was going to be about what a 911 dispatcher does and while it does talk a
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Ian Hunt is working a regular day at the dispatch office, receiving more prank calls than genuine ones at the job, when a call comes through from a payphone. The distressed caller is a girl who introduces herself as Maggie Hunt, Ian's own daughter who has been missing for the past seven years, and whose funeral was arranged four months earlier to give her mother closure. She had just managed to escape and is hoping for help, but her abductor manages to get her in time. Ian, now convinced that hi ...more
Talk about an adrenaline rush! I absolutely loved this book. From the moment Ian picked up the phone and heard his daughter’s voice on the other end, he was on a mission to find her. Two months earlier they had a memorial service (without a body) to put closure to the case of his missing daughter but it was more for Debbie his ex-wife who needed closure. His now, fifteen-year old daughter who had been missing for 8 years was alive and Ian was sure that this was no trick, Maggie was alive. How di ...more
Jade Eby
Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements

I had zero expectations starting this book. I thought the premise sounded interesting and very reminiscent of Taken with Liam Neeson which happens to be one of my favorite movies. After finishing the book, it had all of the same elements that made me love Taken. I was floored by how much I enjoyed this book. It hooked me from page one.

The intensity in this novel starts from page one and it doesn't stop for one minute. It's a read-at-your-own-p
Zohar -
The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn is a fictional thriller which takes the reader from Texas to Arizona. I could not put this book down, it moves fast and furious.

Dispatcher Ian Hunt wears a uniform but does not consider himself a police man. One day Ian answers a 911 call only to realize he is talking to his daughter who has been abducted from his home seven years before.

Going on a bullet ridden chase from Texas to California, this macabre, violent ride in a 1965 Mustang will pit a man against h
Brett Starr
A father's love.

A missing child considered forgotten, something bad that happened and is now in the past, a buried memory.

Ian Hunt is a small time cop in a sleepy police department in East Texas. His daughter Maggie was fourteen years old when she was kidnapped from their home. Ian blamed himself for not being there that night. Out of the blue, a phone call comes in from Maggie, she's alive and needs her father to come and save her, save her like he failed to do the first time around.

I randomnly
Im fiktiven Örtchen namens Bulls Mouth, Texas geschieht der Alptraum jeder Eltern: Ian Hunt & seine Frau gönnen sich einen Abend zu zweit, während der große Sohn auf seine kleine Schwester Maggie aufpassen soll. Sie wird klammheimlich aus ihrem Kinderbett entführt. Keiner hat etwas bemerkt, nur das zerschnittene Fliegengitter zeugt vom Eindringling. Maggie ist spurlos verschwunden. 7 Jahre später ist Hunts Leben so gut wie zerstört. Trotz dass Maggie’s Leichnam nie gefunden wurde, hat seine ...more
I wanted to read The Dispatcher because the story sounded like it would be good and because I panned the author's first book, Good Neighbors (yes, I know it won an award). Most of my issues with Good Neighbors had to do with some authorial and metafictional choices, but were mostly rooted in the fact that he was writing about the Kitty Genovese murder and I think Harlan Ellison wrote the definitive fictional work on that in his short story, The Whimper of Whipped Dogs. What I did know was that M ...more
Amy Lignor
Winner of the New Blood Dagger Award, Ryan Jahn certainly has the gift to begin a suspense novel by setting hearts on edge the second the book is opened.

This new novel focuses on Ian Hunt who works as a police dispatcher out of Bulls Mouth, Texas. Ian hasn’t had the best life, thus far. His poor daughter was kidnapped when she was only seven-years-old. Another seven years has gone by and Ian still holds the innate hope that Maggie is still alive out there somewhere, even though they declared he
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Sometimes after reading several books like I've Got Your Number, you need a good gritty novel to "cleanse you pallet".
The Dispatcher is as gritty as they come!

Ian Hunt traded in the big city police force for a job as a dispatcher in a backwoods Texas town. He got divorced from his third wife shortly after their young daughter disappeared. They recently had her declared legally dead and had a funeral for her and everything. So imagine his surprise when one
This was the start of a good run of adult suspenseful thrillers on my reading list. I had heard about this title from somewhere and was thrilled when I saw it on NetGalley. It was a good read that took hold right in the beginning and was like a roller coaster ride-you want it to be over, but at the same time you don't want it to stop!

There may well be nothing in the world stronger than a father's love. Ian Hunt proves this again anad again throughout this book. To begin with, even though his dau
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

911 dispatcher Ian Hunt receives a call from a fourteen-year-old girl–his daughter Maggie who’s been missing for seven years and declared dead. Before Ian can get more than a rudimentary description of his daughter’s kidnapper, the phone is snatched from the girl’s hand. Ian begins a hunt for his missing daughter that will cover not only the East Texas community where Ian lives, but also a mad chase along the Interstate 10 to Californ
Gerald Sinstadt
The kidnapping of a young child by a couple of limited intelligence is not unknown in our times. It is certainly a valid theme for a novel, and here it is treated with understanding and perception. The reader is not presented at the outset with a dastardly villain pursued by a policeman with the purest ethics. Thus, in the early chapters, as both characters are established, there is balance, giving hope of a serious author treating the subject seriously.

Sadly, as the violence mounts, the story b
Jen at Reading Lark
I got a heavy flavor of the Denzel Washington movie, Man on Fire, while reading this book. The central character's daughter Maggie manages to make contact during a short-lived escape attempt after 7 years of imprisonment with her kidnappers, Henry and Beatrice. This kick-starts a chain of events, culminating in a cross-state chase to rescue her. During this chase Ian, her father, fights with horrific injuries and it is pretty much only his grim determination that carries him through.

The action
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Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, California, and Texas. He finished school at sixteen, worked several odd jobs, from record store clerk to janitor, and spent time in the army before moving to Los Angeles, where he muddled about in television and film for several years.

He published his first novel, Acts of Violence, which went on to win the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger, in 2009
More about Ryan David Jahn...
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“Sometimes people have too much history together, history of the wrong kind, and people cannot tear pages from the book of their life. Once something is written there it is permanent.” 2 likes
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