Scribner, Jan 2001, 26.00, 478 pp.
In 1942 Southern California, writer Jack Dulaney loves the untouchable Holly Carnahan. Jack struggles with producing a second novel, earning money by walking horses at the track. When Holly flees to Regina Beach, New Jersey in search of her missing dad, Jack follows out of concern for his beloved's safety.
In the Jersey south shore community, Jack lands a job as a writer at radio station WHAR. He soon realizes that he is quite good at cranking out well-written radio dramas. Perhaps it is because of his writing skills that allow Jack to notice the strange behavior on the part of WHAR employees. He finds sudden disappearances as mysterious as the disappearance of Holly's dad and certain links to the Nazis. Jack worries that Holly is in danger while she is concerned that her actions brought danger to him.
TWO O'CLOCK, EASTERN WARTIME is a fabulous historical fiction novel that vividly brings to life a small East Coast community during World War II. The historical perspective, especially that of the powerful role of radio as a forerunner of television, is brilliantly depicted. The mystery stays subtlety in the shadows, truly enhancing John Dunning's homage to the communication role radio played during wartime. Fans of World War II dramas will find Mr. Dunning's novel endearing for its resplendent account of a bygone era.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner