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    Review of HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN by Steven Saylor (see his website)

    Simon & Schuster, 2003

    Rue Dunwitty expects a simple vacation when she travels from San Francisco to her childhood home in Amethyst, Texas. Instead, she is intrigued and mystified by grocery store posters asking about a missing teen. Rue can't help digging around and is shocked to find the girl's body--only to have it disappear before the police arrive. Everyone is urging Rue to leave town, but she can't make herself leave her aging grandmother. Except, will Rue herself become the next victim of a serial killer?

    Author Steven Saylor (see more reviews of novels by Saylor) draws a vivid picture of small-town Texas life. From its aging Bush for Governor bumper stickers to the whole-town turnout for the high school football team, to the volunteer efforts to search for the missing girl, Amethyst rings true. With plenty of red herrings around, Rue can find plenty of suspects. But is she letting her imagination run away from her?

    Saylor hints at important questions in Rue's reflections on sex and rape. Is every man a monster, simply waiting for the opportunity to free himself from the shackles of society?

    Mystery fans may find the identity of the killer easy to guess, but Saylor's high-quality writing makes getting there an enjoyable ride.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/27/03

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