Fast Track

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Overview

The most cataclysmic week of Lark Chadwick's life begins when she discovers the dead body of her aunt, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This was the aunt who raised Lark from infancy after the tragic deaths of her parents in an auto accident. Yet what unfolds for Lark in the coming days is a dark and twisting mystery into the sinister circumstances of that awful day so long ago. Lark's desperate search for the truth reveals secrets that are about to put her life in great peril.

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Overview

The most cataclysmic week of Lark Chadwick's life begins when she discovers the dead body of her aunt, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This was the aunt who raised Lark from infancy after the tragic deaths of her parents in an auto accident. Yet what unfolds for Lark in the coming days is a dark and twisting mystery into the sinister circumstances of that awful day so long ago. Lark's desperate search for the truth reveals secrets that are about to put her life in great peril.

"Fast Track is one of those rare novels that you simply can't put down. I was hooked on page one and it was non-stop until the very end - an emotional roller coaster."
Wolf Blitzer
CNN Anchor, "The Situation Room"

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595071026
  • Publisher: ArcheBooks Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/4/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

John DeDakis has a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently a Senior Copy Editor at CNN in Washington where he is an editor/writer on The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer.

Prior to joining CNN in 1988, Mr. DeDakis was White House Correspondent for CBN News during the last three years of the Reagan Administration.

His journalism career began in 1969 when he was tear-gassed while covering an anti-Vietnam War riot for a campus radio station. While in the Army in Frankfurt, Germany, Mr. DeDakis was stationed at the headquarters of the American Forces Network-Europe. He has also produced award-winning radio and television documentaries. For pleasure, he reads, hikes, plays tennis and the drums. His wife Cynthia is a choral conductor. They have three children. You may visit his website at www.johndedakis.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2011

    What John Grisham does for law, John DeDakis does for journalism

    What John Grisham does for law, John DeDakis does for journalism. DeDakis is a seasoned journalist with ample street cred; he's interviewed Alfred Hitchcock, been a White House Correspondent during the Reagan Administration, and now serves as CNN's Senior Copy Editor for Wolf Blitzer's, The Situation Room. In Fast Track (2005), his debut novel, he writes as 25 year-old Lark Chadwick, a budding journalist seeking truth. Why did her parents die at a railway crossing when she was just a baby? Was it suicide? Murder? An unfortunate accident? Lark returns home and boldly asks these questions - even those that put her at risk. DeDakis is masterful here. He provides an authentic voice for young women who are gritty, curious, and clever; a refreshing change from the idle chatter, trite concerns, and trivial obsessions that clutter the market and drown the voices of girls and women guided by loftier goals. Fast Track remains true to its name. The action doesn't lumber; it roars. And just when you think Lark should "run with the story" that will change everything, DeDakis explores journalistic ethics that pull her back from the precipice to preserve her credibility. It isn't too long, though, before Lark is plunged headlong into peril by those same standards that drive journalists to be fair but relentless in their quest. This book is captivating. I am not a morning person, but I woke spontaneously, before sunrise, to finish what I had started. Lark lives and she matters. Buy this book and brace yourself. It's a thrilling ride! Dr. Brenda S. Miles, Child Psychologist and author of Imagine a Rainbow: A Child's Guide for Soothing Pain (2006)

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    This is a wonderful read. I was immediately hooked and couldn't put it down.

    I loved the tension between the sheriff and the mayor and how that eventually worked out. My favorite characters were Lark and Lionel. The author made them both come alive and I found myself waiting for their next conflict. I wanted to know more about Annie's problems, but I also liked that it was left somewhat to the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks. The ending was a complete surprise! I'm definitely looking forward to reading John Dedakis'next book.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Entertaining and thought-provoking

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well-developed characters, fast-paced plot, and a satsifying end that I didn't see coming. Even after I finished the book, I find myself thinking of the characters and the choices they made along the way. Can't wait to read DeDakis' next book!

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    BE CAREFUL ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS, LARK

    Lark Chadwick is a likeable, naive young woman who gets a rude awakening into real life. There were times when I wanted to smack her for the stubbornness she displays, but I had to keep reading just to find out what was really going on. Thanks, John, for creating such a wonderful page-turner. I lost sleep but it was worth every wink....even reading it for the second time. The characters and scenery are very real, and the surprise near the end makes sense of the entire story. Can't wait for the sequel!

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    I never guessed the ending!

    What a great ending! Totally unexpected!

    I love to read and have always enjoy a good suspense novel! All of the suspense novels that I have read over the past couple of years have been disappointing because I was able to figure out the ending. NOT Fast Track! This novel kept me guessing until the end. Every time I thought I figured it out, I was proven wrong. The greatest point was realizing that what really happened was not even close to what I ever guessed! A true suspense novel that kept me wanting to turn the pages until the end!

    I am very much looking forward to reading "Bluff"!

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "Fast Track's got a full head of Steam"

    "Fast Track" is an outstanding piece of work. I chuckled when my friends first encouraged me to give it a look because each friend also said: "you won't be able to put it down." (Where had I heard that before?) Well, in this case they were right! I couldn't put it down and must confess I was disappointed that this well-crafted work of fiction - the first for journalist John DeDakis - had to end.

    The author spins an intriguing yet plausible yarn, creates characters with problems as complex as your very best friend/confidant (Counseling, anyone?) and moves the plot forward starting much like a 10K marathon and finishing at a sprinter's pace.

    I really like how "Fast Track" picked up even more steam (pun, intended) - seemingly with the turn of the each page. This plot really thickens. I almost solved the mystery about six times only to encounter another befuddling yet plausible plot twist or character revelation - each one trumping the last.

    Working as editor and writer for Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room on CNN, DeDakis witnesses a parade of very human characters (some good, many not) on a daily basis. Perhaps they have enhanced his ability to infuse "Fast Track's" fictional characters with a DNA of their own - each believable, each complex, each unique.

    No cardboard cutouts here: Protagonist Lark Chadwick has grit and game. Newspaper publisher Lionel Stone makes Lou Grant look downright nurturing and Sheriff Roy Miller conjures the vision of one Sheriff John T. Chance in Rio Bravo.

    I still have vivid recollections of folks like Lark's troubled sister, the "might-just-stray" priest, and the skinny, hair-slicked, buttoned-down guy you hope won't be your next e-Harmony date. Quite an assembly of well-defined folks, I'd say!
    Oh yes, and let's not forget the still-life portrait the author paints of the "railroad crossing that can kill" - a place so foreboding you can hear your own hair stand on end.

    Congrats and hats off to you, John DeDakis! Just one question - Are you sure this is your first fictional novel? It sure reads like the work of a seasoned pro.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "Fast Track's got a full head of Steam"

    "Fast Track" is an outstanding piece of work. I chuckled when my friends first encouraged me to give it a look because each friend also said: "you won't be able to put it down." (Where had I heard that before?) Well, in this case they were right! I couldn't put it down and must confess I was disappointed that this well-crafted work of fiction - the first for journalist John DeDakis - had to end.

    The author spins an intriguing yet plausible yarn, creates characters with problems as complex as your very best friend/confidant (Counseling, anyone?) and moves the plot forward starting much like a 10K marathon and finishing at a sprinter's pace.

    I really like how "Fast Track" picked up even more steam (pun, intended) - seemingly with the turn of the each page. This plot really thickens. I almost solved the mystery about six times only to encounter another befuddling yet plausible plot twist or character revelation - each one trumping the last.

    Working as editor and writer for Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room on CNN, DeDakis witnesses a parade of very human characters (some good, many not) on a daily basis. Perhaps they have enhanced his ability to infuse "Fast Track's" fictional characters with a DNA of their own - each believable, each complex, each unique.

    No cardboard cutouts here: Protagonist Lark Chadwick has grit and game. Newspaper publisher Lionel Stone makes Lou Grant look downright nurturing and Sheriff Roy Miller conjures the vision of one Sheriff John T. Chance in Rio Bravo.

    I still have vivid recollections of folks like Lark's troubled sister, the "might-just-stray" priest, and the skinny, hair-slicked, buttoned-down guy you hope won't be your next e-Harmony date. Quite an assembly of well-defined folks, I'd say!
    Oh yes, and let's not forget the still-life portrait the author paints of the "railroad crossing that can kill" - a place so foreboding you can hear your own hair stand on end.

    Congrats and hats off to you, John DeDakis! Just one question - Are you sure this is your first fictional novel? It sure reads like the work of a seasoned pro.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2009

    Fast Track is a must read!!!!

    Hi John,
    I just finished the book Fast Track. It is an incredible book, I couldn't put it down! I love the action and suspense! I am from Wisconsin so it really brought the book to life. I will definitely be recommending the book to all of my friends! Is there, or will there be a follow up story?
    I would love to see this book become a movie!

    I will be looking forward to reading more of your work!
    Thanks!!

    Tammy_N_Wisconsin

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  • Posted November 1, 2008

    The story is incredibly gripping, I was challenged at a depth I'm not sure I've ever experienced, such a pool of emotions and revealing statements of strength.

    Wow, John.....WOW......what a "Roller Coaster", a reading journey throwing me in and out of reality. The story is so incredibly gripping, I was challenged at a depth I'm not sure I've ever experienced, such a pool of emotions and revealing statements of strength. You did a fabulous job of giving the weaknesses of our emotions, the psychology of assessing these emotions and what the options might be. Muriel is such a great character and then how Lionel is developed into a pillar. The details, so intimate,thought provoling and provided results.<BR/>The breadth and depth of the twists and turns, at times, were overwhelming, yet the gift you have for drawing the reader or rather me, back on course is truly your strength. I had to take breaks to catch my breath and take notes on the valuable,thought provoking messages throughout this magnificent collateral for supporting life's most difficult trauma! <BR/>I'm electrified as of this moment, but also saddened that I've finished your book. I almost didn't finish reading it until later this weekend, to give myself a chance to digest and enjoy the finale. I'm so glad I didn't wait - Magnificent - I went for a beautiful walk about my property with my 2 dogs, took long fresh breaths of the crisp autumn morning, as the sun warmed my face and felt the inspiration that reading "Fast Track". Thank you, thank you for sharing your gift.<BR/><BR/>I will share this fine work with those around me, although I need to get other copies, this is mine - I selfishly won't let it out of my space, I'm ready to read it again and see what I missed. Keep writing, I look forward to the follow up to Fast Track and hopefully a screenplay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2008

    Grabs you from page one!

    I like a book with an exciting start. By the end of the first chapter, something has to have inspired me to read on. Fast Track certainly starts out strong and keeps you engaged clear through to the ending!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    DeDakis and his novel are on the right track!

    John DeDakis is an excellent writer, who skillfully weaves past and present together in his novel Fast Track. The plot is spun with multiple threads that become entangled, elusive, mysterious, and perplexing. The author is adept at developing and crafting memorable settings, events, and characters. The reader instantly likes and cares for Lark Chadwick, a strong yet vulnerable woman. With compassion and with honesty, DeDakis delves into her world and invites us to join her as she struggles to uncover truths about her past. Fast Track is an engrossing, can¿t-put-it-down page-turner. I highly recommend it. This accomplished journalist, who shows great promise in becoming a successful fiction writer, is definitely on the right track. I enjoyed Fast Track, and I look forward to reading DeDakis¿ future novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    THRILLING, QUICK READ!

    Like thriller/suspense novels? Short chapters? Page turners? This is the book for you. The book is a quick read in respect to the suspense that heightens as the plot thickens. The heroine, Lark, is an extremely well-developed character that leaves you a seat first row in the roller-coaster events in her life. The more you read the more curious you become. On a side note if you are interested in journalism many scenarios Lark finds herself in reinforce ethical dilemmas and experiences a young journalist in the field may have. The book is enjoyable and relatable - a great read for anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2008

    Couldn't put it down! Stock this book in your stores!!!

    This was an amazing book!! As I neared the end I couldn't wait to see what happened at the same time, I didn't want to finish it! I got this book to keep in the car to read when I was in carpool. It didn't stay in the car longer than the first day, I brought it in & could not do anything else until I finished it! Sure wish it would be in stock at Barnes & Noble regularly! I would have loved to buy it from your book store & I will definitely be recommending it to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    Compelling Read

    I'm a Ludlum fan, like page-turners, suspense and action. Fast Track has all of the above. As an author, I get bored and frustrated reading alot of suspense, but not with Fast Track. I sat on my couch and read it straight through. I even broke a sweat from the plot line. It's easy reading, great for a flight or beach. And DeDakis has some wonderful one-liners. Many authors lack the ability to include profound thoughts in the dialogue without sounding preachy. DeDakis really has a talent though, and I went back and underlined a half-dozen lines. The secondary characters were interesting, and the plot twists were great and unexpected. I've already recommended the book to a number of people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    Fast Track is compelling in every sense of the word. Unexpected plot twists keep the reader on edge from beginning to end and you're sure to 'lose yourself' in the novel. Definitely a must-read for those who love suspense!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    About The Book: FAST TRACK Fast Track is a story that is not only riveting, it is also full of unpredictable twists and intrigue. This is a very well written book with a superbly rounded plot, solid characters and challenges its readers curiousity until the very end. Fast Track will take you on a journey with Lark Chadwick, a young almost journalist. You will follow her day to day life as it suddenly becomes a calamity of dangerous events when certain realizations of her family roots take her and you on a time travel into their past mystery. Womensselfesteem.com highly recommends Fast Track as an excellent book for all readers with a hungry mind for a true thinker, original content and it's own unique story. A definite, hard to put down read! ~D~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    To describe the book in one word: Fun. If you're looking for something serious, really insightful, or something that will change how you view the world, don't pick this up. But if you've had a hard day at work and want something that's way more entertaining than television and just as easy to soak up the content, give it a read. I hate to be cliche, but I couldn't put the book down because the suspense was so intense. Just read the FIRST page and you'll be sucked right in. But make sure to fasten your seatbelt it'll be a bumpy train ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    A Greatly Engaging and Enjoyable Novel

    One of the most exciting literary joys is finding a new author whose work compels the reader to not only finish the novel, but to explore the deeper nuances in the text. Through profound character development and an intricately woven plot, Mr. DeDakis has written a story that readers will struggle to put down. Furthermore, the setting and context of the novel should undoubtedly provide both entertainment and inspiration to aspiring writers and journalists.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    Riveting

    From page one to the conclusion of Fast Track, John DeDakis captures the attention of readers of all ages with a fast moving plot, well developed characters and an unexpected ending. A riveting mystery! Those familiar with the Midwestern locale will connect with this book in a special way. We eagerly await John¿s next novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    A stunning debut novel by a master journalist!

    FAST TRACK is a well-crafted thriller with an ingenious plot and memorable characters. Fast-paced and richly textured, it reads like a runaway freight train. Don't miss it!

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