Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Half-Past Dawn: A Thriller” as Want to Read:
Half-Past Dawn: A Thriller
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Half-Past Dawn: A Thriller

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  285 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Between life and death, between the deepest dark of night and the first rays of dawn, in that moment where we begin to drift from sleep to wakefulness, is where anything is possible . . .

Jack Keeler wakes up one bright June morning to the shock of his life. He gazes in the mirror and sees a half-healed gash over his right eye and a hastily stitched-together wound in his s
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Atria Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jessica at Book Sake
You know, I was almost burnt out on the thrillers until reading this book. I’ve just read so many that, eventually, they all begin to fit into a certain mold and I have no trouble figuring out what’s going to happen next – that’s no fun. Fortunately, this was not the case with Half-Past Dawn. Doetsch definitely pulled one (or ten) over on me and renewed my faith in the genre. He didn’t try to beef up the suspense with a million plot twists that are either too predictable or make no logical sense ...more
The story opens as a man gets his morning paper and is startled at the headline claiming that he and his wife are dead.

With use of a flashback, we see the man, DA Jack Keeler and his wife, FBI agent Mia, head home after attending an event in honor of her father, former FBI director, Sam Norris.
They are stopped on a bridge and ordered out of their car. When Jack resists, he's shot in the shoulder and placed back in the car which is then pushed over the bridge into the water below. His wife is kid
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was fantastic up until the very end. Extremely disappointing, as if the Author was just too ambitous with his storyline and just gave up at the end since he could not effectively tie all the pieces together. The whole story was thrilling and easy to read but the ending was confusing, frustrating and down right irritating. I felt like I had to question whether or not I was stupid because I didn't understand the ending at all. This is not how I wanted to be left feeling after completing a ...more
Ray Palen
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Doetsch has turned his career as a real estate executive on its ear as his ‘hobby’ --- writing terrific historical-based thrillers --- has now propelled him to the upper echelons of this genre. With two of his prior novels already being optioned for major motion pictures, his latest release --- HALF-PAST DAWN --- is a stand-alone thriller that pulls out all stops and continues his successful streak of addictive novels.

Jack Keeler’s world slowly comes to life at half-past dawn one morning
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Past paced thriller with a little bit of a disappointment at the end. Jack Keeler, New York DA is married to Mia Keeler , an FBI agent and both attempt to keep their cases separate from their personal lives. Until one fateful night when their truck is attacked on a bridge. They fight back but Jack still in the truck is catapulted over the railing and into the river. Mia totally disappears and with the truck in the river, it is assumed that both perished. However , they didn't ! Jack is desperate ...more
Rick Fisher
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
3.5 stars
I wanted to rate this higher because the were some wonderful things about this novel. However, there were a few drawbacks as well.
The premise/plot was inventive and almost riveting, at times.
The character analysis was perfect. I enjoyed every character, including the bad guys. They were well fleshed out and had some great back stories. I would even love to see a more detailed life story of Nowadji Christos.
Although some things were predictable, others weren't.
What I didnt enjoy wa
Alex Telander
Bestselling author Richard Doetsch last thrilled readers with Thieves of Darkness and the amazing 13th Hour; in Half-Past Dawn he delivers a whole new meaning to the term “thriller,” providing shocking reveals and realizations at the end of almost every chapter. Readers will be left wondering (and dreading) what will happen next, and be physically unable to stop reading.

Jack Keeler wakes up one morning to find that there are many things wrong with the world; things that were not this way the day
David V.
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received as an ARC from the publisher.

I really enjoyed Doetsch's book The 13th Hour, and I expected to like this one too. I did enjoy it--fast paced, interesting characters, lots of twists and turns, and that's where I had a problem. I'd like to sit down with Mr. Doetsch to discuss the ending, to make sure I understood it correctly. I had to read the last few pages twice, and I'm still not sure I got it right. Maybe when it's released to the public other readers will comment, and we can all disc
I was disappointed with this book. The fly leaf made it sound like a really good thriller, however it was a muddled action book seemingly written without a clear plot outline. The characters were all unnecessarily wealthy, upper-crust action figures. The plot twists were sudden and bizarre. The ending was just silly. The only reason I kept reading was that I am on vacation and I only brought a few books.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I feel like I was scammed.
I got caught up in all the excitement in the little couple of paragraphs about what this book was gonna be about. Then it quickly started feeling like a body going down with a cement boot.
Ughhhhhhh... I really, really, really hate when this happens.
This is not all that it's cracked up to be. :(
Starts with a bang, but the writing is so dreadful I stopped after 50 pages. "...her lithe legs gliding along the floor as she walked..." Surely it was her feet that were gliding? "Servants scampered around, carrying trays..." I would fire any servant who scampered. Enough.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Richard Doetsch because he started following me on Twitter. Curious, I checked out his books and loved them. This is the 6th book by him I've read and not one has disappointed me.
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my 2nd read of Richard Doetsch and all I can say is I am a big fan! What twists and turns in his novels that you just can't put down!

Jack Keeler is the New York District Attorney and his wife, Mia is an FBI agent. After attending a dinner party, the next morning Jack wakes up, looks in the mirror and see cuts on his face and a bullet wound on his shoulder. Not only that, but he has a tattoo that covers the length of his arm with foreign writing! If that is bad enough - the paper is repor
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
I stopped reading half way through. I seldom do it so I'll try to explain. First I try to avoid books where the FBI (or CIA, or...) is involved, everybody is 6'4", very righteous, and the (very) bad guy is an almost invincible terrorist. The delivery was annoying: 1) The protagonist regained memories of previous days piecemeal and just in time to forward the plot. 2) Every new character introduced prompted for several pages of flashbacks to flesh his story up. (And yes, I decided to stop when he ...more
Lisa Malmquist
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would you do if you woke up one day battered and bruised with no recollection of what happened?
Your wife and kids are not in the house and the paper's headlines state that you and your wife died the night before in an auto accident..this is just the beginning of the story.
Twists and turns and suspense. You have very little time to reconstruct what happened....with an assassin on your tail, no idea of where your wife an kids are and no idea of who to trust, what could go wrong!?
Fragments of
Carl Louis Cruz
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very thought provoking. It keeps me reading the next page / chapter every time the last page tells that at the next page, I will discover some more. My eyes almost giving up reading this, but my mind keeps me in pace. I'm not done reading this book yet, as I go further and further, the climax and thrill of this book rises.

August 19, 2012. I'd finished reading this book. My mind is trembling at the ending ... My mind is so confused, the ending seems like the writer wanted the user to
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
D.A. Jack Keeler wakes up one morning, has a soda, then notices he's been shot. The newspaper says he and his wife are dead, but Jack knows she has merely been kidnapped by a mysterious madman. Jack has twenty-four hours to rescue her, solve the enigma of the missing evidence case, decipher his new tattoo, and figure out all the other mysteries that get flung at him over the course of this frenetic book. Stunning revelations every couple of chapters keep shifting the paradigm, until the nature o ...more
Marsha Hubbell
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are occasionally books you read that when finished you think, "Wow! This would make a great film!" For me, Half-Past Dawn" by Richard Doetsch is such a book. This book is filled with twists and turns, instances of sanity vs insanity, questions about what is true and what is imagined, and most importantly, who and what can be believed. It's a story of a man fighting for his family, for his life, for his mind, and he's got 24 hours to resolve it.

I first read Mr. Doetsch a few years ago when
Nov 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another reality-bending thriller from Richard Doetsch. I read this book because I enjoyed Doetsch's breakneck thriller, "The 13th Hour". "Half Past Dawn" is similar, in that, the protagonist is similarly gripped to meet a rapidly approaching deadline, which makes the reader conjure up the familiar audio and video of the ticking "60 Minutes" stopwatch. Although the book has a compelling and action-packed plot, it reads a bit like a slightly twisted screenplay of the "Mission Impossible" f ...more
Dan Barbier
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with The Thirteen hour, Richard Doetsch writes another tour-de-force with this novel. Twists abound in this story and most of them made me stop reading and go "Whoa". I can't say anything more than, the story is about Jack Keeler, a D.A. Who is trying to save his wife Mia, an FBI agent, from getting killed by Cristos, an assassin for the American government. To say more would spoil the enjoyment one gets from the many twists and reveal, the author has woven into his plot. I think this is the ...more
Phil Deschler
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Phil by: Self
A mystery, murder, ghosts, secrets Aisan spirituality & betrayal. A story that keeps your attention and in suspense. A story that you think you understand but with a big piece missing. A piece that holds the book & the suspense together. You are never sure the story have the usual positive ending of a mystery. Whom does the hero trust, it appears no one. The one he is chasing is a ghost along with the ghost he is racing to save his wife (is she alive or dead). So many questions with a tw ...more
Beverley Albright
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason that I don't give this book five stars is that I am not sure that I totally understood everything that happened. That is on me, though. The writing was superb and the action was non-stop and very vivid.

Mr. Doetsch gives his usual twists to the story and keeps you guessing. Would love to have a conversation with him about this book. Guess my book club will have to do on that score.

If you want different, then you get it with this book...and then some.
Brian Powers
I was going to give this book two stars but settled on three because I enjoyed *most* of it. It started off quickly and continued at such a pace (even though the flashbacks were borderline confusing and unnecessary). What did it in for me was the very end of the book. Without ruining anything, it was one of the most confusing books I've ever read. I had to question my comprehension of the entire book and there are still quite a few things that are murky for me, at best.
Lisa Dreesman
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This thriller by Richard Doetsch is fast-paced and action-packed, with ever-evolving twists and turns throughout. Jack, DA of New York, wakes up in the morning to find himself having been shot, his clothes from the night before wet and muddy, and with a strange tattoo on his arm. Add that to the headlines that declare he and his wife, FBI agent Mia,were killed the night before. This is truly a "things are not always as they seem" novel, much on the line of "Shutter Island" fame.
Ryan Mishap
A one sitting thriller that I read for more of a distraction from real life than any desire to immerse myself in Doetsch's literary world. I do like the the mystery or thriller novel that begins with an absurd, nearly impossible premise and then explains how it all came to be. In that sense, it kept me reading and I would recommend this to all who enjoy such tales.
I wish Goodreads had a way to make note of why you put a book on your to read list. I don't remember how this one ended up on my list, but it was just ok. Lots of suspense, lots of twists and turns... in fact, so many that I really don't know what did happen in the end. There was also a much higher body count than I usually like in my lit.
Crystal Soph
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting plot and fast paced book. The twists kept you wondering and unlike some books, I didn't see them coming. There's a little bit of everything; murder, history, romance. I was a little disappointed in the ending. the story line stopped abruptly and I felt like not all the questions were answered. I'd be interested in checking out other books by this author.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book left me with an almost empty feeling. I was caught up in the story with the very first sentence wondering what was going to happen next. It was very fast paced and action packed until the final chapter which left me confused. I am not sure if I missed something or if I really did read and understand everything and it was just an abrupt ending without real meaning.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good choice for an airport or a treadmill when you want a fast-moving thriller that holds your interest. It is just full of mysteries and twists, and definitely keeps you guessing. I had some quibbles with the final twist, but I can’t deny it is thought-provoking. The author has written four previous thrillers, two of which are being developed as movies.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this author's other book, The 13th Hour, I was excited to pick another one. This one was good, very complex, with lots of twists and turns. The author has a way of grabbing you right at the start and then ending each chapter with a sentence or two that pulls you on. I was confused at times and the ending was very different.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Thirteen Million Dollar Pop (Frank Behr, #3)
  • Sacrifice Fly (Raymond Donne Mystery #1)
  • The Ninth Day (Emma Caldridge, #3)
  • Start Shooting
  • The Hot Country (Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller #1)
  • Hurt Machine (Moe Prager, #7)
  • No Dawn for Men: A Novel of Ian Fleming, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Nazi Germany
  • Dead Money Run (Lou Malloy Crime, #1)
  • Death on the Marais (Lucas Rocco, #1)
  • Marked (Callum Doyle, #3)
  • Clementine's Shadow
  • Death Money (A Detective Jack Yu Investigation #4)
  • The Kill Order  (Sydney Fitzpatrick #5)
  • Play Dead
  • Midnight Guardians (Max Freeman, #6)
  • Shadow of the Rock (Spike Sanguinetti, #1)
  • Terror's Reach
  • Color Blind (Kate McKinnon, #2)
The Thieves of Legend arrives November 27th.

Early Praise:
"The Thieves of Legend stole my breath with the sheer audacity of its storytelling, proving yet again that this series gets better with every installment. Bold, richly told, and rollicking with adventure, here is a thriller that demands to be read in one tension-wrought sitting. Count me a fan for life!"
James Rollins, New York Times Bests
More about Richard Doetsch...

Share This Book