Book Review - The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning
This is a book I've looked forward to for a long time, and I wasn't disappointed. The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning is a continuation of the Cliff Janeway series, and I really wish this guy would write more. Very good stories...
Cliff Janeway is an ex-cop who left the force after an excessive force incident, and he decided to open a book store specializing in rare and collectible books. Dunning is an actual bookseller, and you can tell he knows the field well. Janeway decides to buy a $30K volume by Richard Burton (the explorer) and is contacted by an elderly lady who claims to be related to someone who knew Burton well. There is also rumor of a journal that Burton kept during a time period before the Civil War, and it could shed light on how the war actually started. She claims that a large collection of the Burton works were stolen from her when her uncle died, and Janeway promises to try and uncover what may have happened to them. She dies shortly after he makes the promise, and he can't let it go. The search leads to the seedy side of the book-selling world, and soon Janeway has made a few enemies who want him dead. He has to balance his promise against trying to stay alive and not cause any injury to the people surrounding him.
As a crime/mystery novel, the story is good. Janeway is an interesting character, and you quickly become wrapped up in his quest. For me, the element that makes it a special read is the backdrop of book selling. I love books, and I love reading. I can identify with the search for that hidden treasure and how it feels to hold a unique volume in your hands. If you love books, Dunning will quickly become a favorite author.