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Fast Track

Fast Track by John DeDakis introduces us to Lark Chadwick, a young woman whose troubled life began to take a dark turn when she was a mere infant and her parents were killed in a horrific car/train accident. She was raised by her grandparents and then her aunt, Annie, that is until she walked into her carbon monoxide-filled home to discover her aunt dead of an apparent suicide. As she tries to understand what could have driven Annie to suicide, she comes to believe that maybe Annie didn't kill herself after all.

She is befriended by her local priest, handsome Father Dan, who just happens to be "on call" on the day of Annie's death and with his counseling, Lark decides to research her family history to try and learn more about the parents she never knew. Her grandparents and Annie barely spoke about them and Lark is compelled to understand her roots. Father Dan also reveals to her that Annie was deeply troubled and that he was extensively counseling her. Apparently, Annie had made a recent discovery about her family, revealing this mysterious tidbit to Father Dan, and Lark is determined to figure things out.

Her search takes her to Pine Bluff, Wisconsin, where she was born and her parents were killed. While digging through the local newspaper archives, she comes to find out that she, too, was involved in the crash that killed her folks, but she was deemed the "Miracle Baby" when her car seat was thrown from the car and landed safely in a nearby cornfield. Instead of answers, Lark just finds more mysteries. She meets Lionel and Muriel Stone, who have recently taken over the local newspaper. Lionel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter previously with the New York Times, soon takes her under his wing as a fledgling writer and "hires" her to write a follow-up story as the now adult "Miracle Baby." Her quest for the truth not only reveals long-dead secrets about the true cause of her parents' death, but also unearths a darker side to certain residents of her quaint birthplace. Soon, Lark's investigative reporting places her smack in the middle of harm's way and she'll be lucky to escape with her life.

I enjoyed Fast Track a good deal. It's John DeDakis' first foray into the thriller genre and it definitely kept me engaged. It had just the right amount of thrilling moments, interlaced with family sentiment, and a dash of faith and romance. I look forward to reading DeDakis' follow-up novel, Bluff. Look for the review soon.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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