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Have You Seen Dawn?: A Novel of Suspense by [Saylor, Steven]
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Have You Seen Dawn?: A Novel of Suspense Kindle Edition


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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Best known for his acclaimed mystery fiction set in ancient Rome, Steven Saylor delivers a striking departure with HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN?, a contemporary novel of suspense set in a small Texas town. The result is "rocket of a read."*

When young Rue Dunwitty travels from San Francisco back to Texas to visit her wheelchair-bound grandmother, she quickly discovers that something is terribly wrong in the little town of Amethyst. Her unease begins when she see signs posted all over town with a photo of a missing high school student and the haunting question, “Have You Seen Dawn?” Then, in the middle of the night, from the window of the bedroom where she grew up, Rue see what appears to be a moving flashlight in the fields surrounding an abandoned house on the outskirts of town.

A series of seemingly small discoveries gradually turn Rue’s unease into dread. Someone in Amethyst is hiding a ghastly secret—and it seems that Rue is the person destined to uncover the awful truth. A web of white lies and unexplained movements make her suspicious of almost every man around her. Which of them was behind the disappearance of Dawn, and what happened to the pretty young teenager? Unless she can discover the truth in time, it looks like Rue will face the same harrowing fate…

“This is my most autobiographical work,” says Steven Saylor, “because it draws deeply on memories of people and places in the small town in Texas where I grew up. But the plot is pure contemporary suspense—a definite change of pace for me. As Gore Vidal said of one of his novels, this is ‘autobiography done with mirrors.’”

At once a literary novel, a murder mystery, and a story of romantic suspense, HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN? celebrates the genres to which it pays homage, even as it quietly subverts them.

*A “rocket of a read...with enough red herrings and things that go bump in the night to keep you entertained all the way...Yet the real pleasures of DAWN lie in Saylor’s rendering of small-town Texas. [The fictional town of] Amethyst is the true jewel here.” Austin American-Statesman

“Saylor essays something really different with a small-town Texas Gothic. Having escaped Amethyst to San Francisco, Rue returns to visit her aging grandmother and plunges into the drama of the missing teenager Dawn from the opening page....An interesting, offbeat book, written in a quiet tone despite its sensational subject and its twist in the conventional serial killer psyche.” The Poisoned Pen Booknews

Saylor “sets the hook early and keeps the plot in constant motion with well-drawn characters and a protagonist who doggedly pursues the task that unexpectedly becomes the mission of her visit home: Find Dawn....Enjoy it, with a cup of hot tea, on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” San Antonio Express-News

“Taut narrative, good characters, and a well-drawn setting: an enjoyable and suspenseful read.” Kirkus Reviews

“Saylor takes the pulse of small-town America without missing a beat. For anyone who hails from a small town, the incidents and atmosphere Saylor generates are spot-on; the darkness at night, the uneasy silence, the brittle layers of familiarity and affability that too easily vaporize, are all instantly recognizable. Against this unsettled background, Saylor calmly builds his story, part mystery, part bodice-ripper, and completely nerve-jangling, until you literally want (along with Rue herself) to scream from the tension. This cleverly constructed novel is a good thriller — too good to read late at night — and it keeps the reader guessing right up until the inevitable Texas showdown.” Wigglefish.com

“His gift for evoking a certain time and place is manifest.” Publishers Weekly

“Very atmospheric...the tension slowly but steadily amplifies until the audience is ready to jump out of their skin...a mesmerizing story.” TheBestReviews.com

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1500 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Roma Sub Rosa Press (18 January 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00SGAS4G8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #512,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Homecoming! 17 April 2016
By txstarkeeper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up in Amathyst ... that is to say I grew up in Steven's hometown ... I read this book perhaps with very different eyes than most due to the people in the book I knew from childhood - names changed of course, but descriptions & behaviors spot on ... the town as well ... as Rue drove into then all around Amethyst I was there with her ... seeing my hometown in a combination of then and now. Eerie to read about people and see them in my mind as they came to life in this book.
For me this read was less about the mystery than it was a nostalgic visit to my past with a bit of my current life thrown in for good measure. I grew up with Steven, his brother & sister and all the other Saylor cousins in our small Central Texas Ranching community. Little has changed since childhood ... and as far as I know ... there was never a series of missing girls taken by the hands of a serial killer ... or was there?
This was a pleasure to read ... now I need to get into his Roma series and see what all the fuss is about!
Thank you Steven for giving me a much needed vacation home!
4.0 out of 5 stars ending satisfactory 1 March 2015
By Kelley buzbee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Been reading Steve Saylor's mystery novels set in ancient Rome for years, but I do enjoy when he brings his readership back to his home state, Texas.

Without giving away any of the plot, I will say that a really great murder mystery is one in which the reader has far too many suspects to count. Keeps you (and the feisty little protagonist) on your toes. Ending was satisfactory... if a little sad.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read. 1 February 2015
By Janis - Eclectic Mumma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I was thrilled to hear this book had made it on to Kindle as I've run out of space on my real bookshelves and wanted to own a copy. Now it can squeeze in quite nicely on my virtual shelves.

It has been a few years since I've read this but it still sticks in my mind as an enjoyable read.

I had been very dubious that I would enjoy Steven Saylor writing a modern story, and with a female as the main character. Don't ask me why, I just was. But it was very well written (like all his works) and really good. I would put it more in the YA/NA genre than his Gordianus or Roma series though. Not too sure if this is intentionl, but it did have a younger reader feel to it.

It was well paced, well constructed and kept me interested from the beginning to the end. As said, it's been almost 10 years since I read it so can't go into too much more detail. However, it's left such a 'contented reading' feeling in my head, it's a book I would readily pick up and read again today - especially now I can grab it as an eBook!

And for a girl who was raised in the tropics of Australia and who has never seen snow, it taught me all about frozen pipes in winter time and I, sadly, found that just as fascinating as the actual plot line. :-)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very disturbing story, a bit too disturbing for my taste. 17 September 2006
By K. L Sadler - Published on Amazon.com
Ooooh, I really didn't like this one. It's not that Saylor wasn't writing a good book. I think most everyone who has read this book, would agree it was fairly well-written. Definitely a good plot, concise delivery of the mystery, okay development of characters. Only complain with the writing was the overuse of the main character's worries and thoughts was very repetitious.

I knew kind of where Saylor was going with this, and from the beginning of the book, he seemed to be capable of writing about this disturbing type of murder mystery that is way too close to real crime stories without giving agonizing details that I find disturbing. That was the problem. First it was a couple of uses of a swearword I find especially offensive after the middle of the book had been reached. From there on it went downhill until the middle of the second to the last chapter, where it was like the gates of filth were let wide open, that Saylor led the reader on with a decent mystery, then descended into the pit.

There is a reason I choose not to read true crime, and I find it disturbing when others do read them. I do read some forensic stuff, more medically inclined as I did do studies in the morgue when I got my neuroscience degree, but these are based on evidence and usually don't go way into the lurid stories that got these people killed. So I really don't appreciate it when a writer misleads me with what I thought was a regular mystery, and it turns into the kind of filth I don't really want to waste brain capacity on. It isn't entertaining. It's just revolting...

Karen Sadler
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly mixed 3 September 2003
By sleepdepraved - Published on Amazon.com
I'm truly split down the middle on this one. Readers expecting another Roma Sub Rosa book look elsewhere -- Saylor presents a richly atmospheric book which, ultimately, is a sexed up Silhouette romance or Lifetime movie. What this has going for it is Saylor's unbeatable gift of atmospherics. The book takes place in a small Texas town, and as he does with ancient Rome, he makes the town a character, capturing it with pinpoint accuracy. I was truly enveloped in his depiction of the town and its residents.
The trouble is the plot. It ultimately ain't much. With the Gordianus books, if the storytelling ever lapses, the central character -- Ancient Rome -- is so compelling that it carries you over the creaky points. A small town in modern day Texas is no ancient Rome (What is?) Here, you have a potentially great idea, which becomes a woman in peril melodrama, with the perky, Nancy Drew type heroine, undecided which of her potential true loves represents danger and which represent amour. Adding a little heavy petting is diverting, but it is not enough.
If Saylor had gone for a novel with suspense elements, rather than a suspense novel, this would have been four or five stars.