Jack Turner is a gifted amateur historian who’s already making a name with his writings. He’s invited to give a series of lectures by an old professor at his alma mater, Culpepper University in northern Georgia. He jumped at the chance, primarily as a means of getting away from a failed relationship – a surprise rejection and ending by the woman he intended to propose to.
Jack begins his lectures, and he also begins to have strangely realistic dreams, as if he’s stepped into World War II military history. One dream involves being on Oahu during the bombing of Pearl Harbor; another is serving as the gunner on one of the planes that formed part of General Jimmy Doolittle’s surprise bombing raid on Tokyo. The dreams are both realistic and terrifying.
Gradually Jack begins to learn that his dreams may be connected to a student who died in his sleep, ostensibly from a congenital heart defect. And then another student commits suicide.
What Jack doesn’t know is that he’s being closely watched by a hit man, who’s also watching Jack’s old professor and Jack’s new romantic interest.
When Night Comes is the first in the Jack Turner suspense series by Dan Walsh. Walsh makes the military history dream sequences as vivid as the general narrative, and we feel Jack’s initial disorientation and then acceptance as much as the character does. I suspect the author is a World War II history buff.
Walsh is the author of several books in the Christian fiction and inspirational genre. The Jack Turner series includes Remembering Dresden and Unintended Consequences, the second and third in the series, respectively.(I read the second before I read the first, which I shouldn’t have done ,but it did help lessen the tension with the threat to one of the characters.)
When Night Comes, set in a small college town, has just the right combination of suspense, history, and romance to make an enjoyable read.
Top photograph: The University of North Georgia-Dahlonega campus, similar to the college inWhen Night Comes.