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The Midnight Writers    by C. J. Hannah order for
Midnight Writers
by C. J. Hannah
Order:  USA  Can
PublishAmerica, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

C. J. Hannah's third book, The Midnight Writers, is compelling with a great story line. It reads quickly because it's hard to put down. A murderer stalks a mystery writers' conference. Having attended numerous writers' conferences, I could identify with the context (I was impressed with the information given to the writers at the conference, information that any real life writer could and should use). But the similarity stops quickly when the first murder occurs.

Che Hadley, who runs an unofficial Midnight Writers critique group, is sought after for his clear, concise and fair reviewing. Many writers appear on the scene but, unfortunately, several of them do not make it to the end of the book. A desperate author is willing to give up his independence to have his story written, even though that story involves the killing he has done to be recognized.

Though the number of characters in the book made it difficult to keep them all straight (and some of the descriptive words felt a little clinical) each one was real and believable. The dialog fell into place easily and made the story flow. I especially liked the man who spoke as if his fictional character, a hardboiled P.I., was writing his dialog. I enjoyed descriptive phrasing that brought scenes to life, like 'His clothes fit him as if they had a soul of their own, not just a doubtful past.' It's easy to imagine those clothes.

I had a little difficulty getting into The Midnight Writers, just wasn't sure where the author was going. But the doubt soon disappeared as the action started.

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