Simon & Schuster, Feb 2003, 24.00, 256 pp.
Amethyst, Texas might no longer be home for Rue Dunwitty but going back to the small town makes her feel nostalgic. It is a peaceful place unlike San Francisco where she now lives. When she spots a poster asking if anyone has seen Dawn who has gone missing on the way to the Amethyst supermarket, she's shocked because things like that don't happen in her hometown.
Rue is staying at her grandmother's home. One night when she has trouble sleeping, she sees a light across the field on her father's property. The next day she explores the run down area and finds Dawn's naked body in an empty cistern, burn marks on her arms and legs. Rue calls the sheriff to come over but by the time he arrives, the body is missing. Rue starts asking questions and comes to the attention of a killer who would like to make her victim number four.
HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN? is a gothic melodrama complete with an innocent maiden, a brooding hero and a surplus of likely suspects. This is a very atmospheric tale, one in which the tension slowly but steadily amplifies until the audience is ready to jump out of their skin. The killer of three innocent teens will come as a shock to the audience because he is the last person anyone would suspect. Steven Saylor is one author who consistently tells a mesmerizing story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner