Deadline – James A. Anderson

Posted on January 5, 2012


Please note, this book is currently free for a limited time on the Kindle here:

Please note, this review contains spoilers.

This real-time thriller chronicles one day in the life of a fictional Toronto newspaper, the Daily Express. With a serial killer on the loose in the city, the kidnapping of one of the paper’s reporters in Afghanistan and a looming financial crisis for the paper fast approaching , romance, action and mystery intertwine.

Several sub-plots are skillfully combined in this fast moving novel. However, whilst it is an impressive debut, it feels more like a television pilot than a novel. Chapters are short, juggling the plots. Character’s are drawn in broad strokes, their devotion to the paper seemingly outweighing everything else, even family matters in some cases. Whilst this is most likely the case, it does seem remarkably unrealistic given that Brandon’s daughter attempts suicide toward the  end of the novel.

For a Canadian novel, it’s ironic that this does not feel like it is set in Canada. The Middle Eastern parts of the book make you feel more like you’re actually there, so it falls to the attitudes of Canadian’s when reporting on the war on terror to cement the Canadian atmosphere more than anything. My tongue was firmly in cheek when Trevanian’s ‘secret’ mission was to interview Osama Bin Laden, although I can take a certain level of disbelief, the bubble burst at this point.

All in all, Deadline is a fun, quick read. It’s almost worth it for the parody of Murdoch alone. Probably just as well that there wasn’t any mocking of phone-hacking..

The Fiction Stroker gives it three strokes out of five:


Posted in: Thriller