Scribner, March 2004, 25.00, 384 pp.
After getting a little heavy handed with a suspected criminal in his custody, Denver Police officer Cliff Janeway leaves the force to become an antiquarian book dealer. His friendship with rare book collector Judge Leighton Huxley led him to bid and win at auction, PILGRIMAGE TO MEDINA AND MECCA by Richard Burton for just under thirty grand. He's very satisfied with his purchase until Josephine Gallant, an elderly frail woman claims that his new purchase and the whole library of Burton's books were originally hers until the Treadwells conned them out of her late husband.
As she lies dying Janeway promises to find the collection and donate it to a library. She gives him a Richard Burton book to be split between him and Denise and Mike Ralston who took care of her in her final hours. Shortly after Josephine dies Denise is murdered, a homicide that Janeway thinks is linked to the Burton book collection. The bookman's search leads him to Koko in Baltimore who used to visit Josephine in the nursing home. Her life is in danger for what she knows so she accompanies Janeway to Charlotte where he intends to learn why Denise had to die and Koko's house torched.
John Dunning can always be counted on to give his audience a wonderful reading experience and THE BOOKMAN'S PROMISE is no exception. Readers learn a lot about legendary explorer Richard Burton and the exhilaration a collector feels when they find the book they consider a treasure. The protagonist's search for answers takes him on a long and winding road that circles back to the starting point. This special book will be enjoyed by mystery and readers of mainstream fiction
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner