Ryan's Reviews > The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

it was amazing

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 mothers protecting or rescuing their kids, but not fathers. I'm not sure if it's just that I'm not being exposed to the books, or if it's because they are being written. Whatever the explanation, when I read the synopsis of this book, I jumped at the chance to read it.

From the get go, Ian and his fight to get his daughter back kept me on the proverbial edge of my seat the entire time I had the book open. It was one of those reads that I didn't necessarily want to put down, and only did so under duress. Ian is a emotionally crippled man who has had to deal with his abduction of his daughter seven years ago, a horrific experience that has destroyed every other relationship he had. His wife left him for another police officer. The relationship with his son, who was in high school at the time of the abduction, is damaged beyond repair. Ian could not help but blame him for his sister's abduction. He never wanted to feel that way, but sometimes the brain really has no control over how someone is going to react.

From the moment Ian receives that phone call, he is racing against time. He doesn't know what the kidnapper will do now that he is in danger of being found out. When the bodies of 3 other female toddlers along with the nightgown Ian's daughter was wearing the night she disappeared are discovered on private property, they get the break they need. I'm not going to even get into how the bodies were discovered because it's the result of one of those seemingly random events that can get you into trouble, even if you don't realize it at the time. But the way it happens is brilliant and never seems to be unbelievable.

When the initial contact with the suspect ends up with two officers dead and Ian in the hospital, it's up to Ian to get his ass in gear and save his daughter on his own. He leaves the hospital and sets out on a crusade to get his daughter and his life back. He does someone that I'm sure some out there would find to be over the top or out of character, but I'm pretty damn sure I would have done the same thing Ian does. If someone had knowledge of where my son was at, and would not spill the beans, I would do everything I had to do to get that information. Rescuing my son would comes first, consequences can be dealt with after my child was safe.

What follows is a car chase across barren deserts and abandoned towns. It's a chase filled with violence and blood shed. Innocent people lose their lives along the way, people who were just trying to do the right thing. It's a bloody journey that I would pray no father would ever have to make, but it's a journey that any father should be willing to embark on in order to protect their child.
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