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Getting Dunn
 
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Getting Dunn [Kindle Edition]

Tom Schreck
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

When TJ Dunn enlisted in the US Army, she knew the combat and emotional risks. Six years earlier her father, an army veteran, killed himself. But TJ is tough, determined to carry her own weight as a soldier, until one day when her team is ambushed during a mission in Iraq. As the only survivor, TJ is left both physically and psychologically traumatized. Yet even as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her friends, she receives another devastating blow: her fiancé, stationed in Afghanistan, has taken his own life.

Discharged from the army and back in the States, TJ is unable to cope. She spirals into an emotional daze, spending her days working at a suicide hotline and her evenings moonlighting as an exotic dancer. Her only outlet for her anger is a punching bag at the local boxing ring where she works out with a handsome trainer, Duffy.

Just when she thinks she’s reached her limit, an anonymous phone call shocks her back to life and gives her a new mission, justice for those she loves and she won’t stop at anything to do it.

Getting Dunn is a tension-filled military thriller that brings the reader ingives insight into the mind of a struggling soldier fighting for her life.

About the Author

Tom Schreck is the author of five novels, including On the Ropes and Out Cold. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree in psychology — and a black belt. He previously worked as the director of an inner-city drug clinic and today juggles several jobs: communications director for a program for people with disabilities, adjunct psychology professor, freelance writer, and world championship boxing official. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 416 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 31 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JTTIOA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,985 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ending too rushed Aug. 4 2013
By 3bunnies TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
OK book, but long and drawn out just to feel like the author got sick of writing it and just wanted to get it finished quick. Left me questioning whether the book was even really finished or whether this was yet another series in the making.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Focus on Psychotherapy May 24 2012
By Nancy Famolari - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The opening is full of action. TJ Dunn, survives an ambush in Iraq. Crawling across her Up-Armored-HMMWV (UAH) to get more ammunition, she falls off, breaks her arm, but survives. The UAH she was on moves forward, is hit and explodes. She wakes in the hospital to learn that Trent, her fiance has committed suicide. From there her life shifts into a downward spiral: topless dancing, manning a suicide hotline and lots of psychotherapy.

The focus on TJ's problems and concomitant psychotherapy makes the first half of the book rather slow. I felt we were treated to too many sessions with her therapist. Plus all the hotline scenes were oriented toward active listening and dealing with suicidal callers. The pace speeds up at the end of the book. We get more action as TJ is pursued by the killers.

I found the ending too good to be true, a twist that didn't work. The book was uneven and disappointing. Schreck has an interesting character in TJ. She's tough and smart and tries to fight her way through her problems. However, I felt the plot was weak and unrealistic, not a good way to showcase her.

I can't recommend this book. I found it difficult to get through the early chapters and then the ending was too unrealistic to be appealing. I hoped for something better on the strength of the action in the prologue.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Drastic, dramatic circumstances change people in a drastic and dramatic fashion." Aug. 13 2012
By Cheryl Stout - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hadn't read any of Tom Schreck's books before "Getting Dunn." I think I will have to remedy that very soon. I understand that one of the characters in this books has a series of his own by the author. Hmmm...

I enjoyed this book very much. TJ Dunn, the female protagonist of the book, is a tortured individual. Her father and her fiance have both committed suicide and she's just trying to tread water and not drown. She sees her shrink, which helps, but she also works as a topless dancer and answers phones for a suicide hotline (maybe not the healthiest occupations in the world). Plus she worked as an US Army MP in Iraq a year back and got wounded during a firefight. So maybe a little bit of PTSD thrown in to top off this volatile mix?

Great character development, interesting plot, some great twists throughout the book that I didn't see coming. I could really see where the author used some of his expertise in psychology, the martial arts, and boxing throughout the book, which made for a much more authentic read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great character, lousy plot twist May 20 2012
By J. Murray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I read Tom Schreck's prior novel, "Vegas Knockout" and loved it, so I eagerly anticipated another action-filled, somewhat humorous, life with a grain-of-salt-and-two-grains-of-aspirin sort of escapade in his newest novel, Getting Dunn (Thomas & Mercer 2012). The title even sounds that way, doesn't it? Like a fast-moving action novel interlaced with enough humor to keep it from being frightening.

And that's how it was for the first 2/3rds. An ex-military MP-turned stripper--TJ Dunn--and suicide hotline host struggles to come to grips with the death of her fiancee. Despite being two years in her rear view mirror and weekly therapy, she can't move on. It haunts her days and dreams. When she finds out he might have been murdered, she reluctantly joins his ex-best friend to uncover the truth.

Schreck does his usual superb job of sketching out TJ's character, with riveting details about her experience in Afghanistan, the dance hall she performs at several times a week, and her day job as a suicide hotline counselor. He spends much time (maybe more than necessary, but I kept reading) detailing the motivations and emotions that drive her, enough so that I find myself believing she could be real. Why not? Those two jobs aren't that contrary, are they? He does equally well with the other central figures. I'd say character development is one of his strengths, one many authors struggle to achieve.

Just as the pace begins to drag (because I'm already convinced of TJ's motivations and don't need another example to drive the point home) and I start wishing there was more action than stripping, talking suicidal victims down from the ledge and TJ crying over the depth of emotion she continues to carry over the disasters of her past life, the action begins. Duffy (the lovable boxer from Vegas Knockout) appears as a potential love interest. He's always fun, especially with his sidekick, Al. I like authors who tie together characters developed in other books with new ones. It makes the whole fictional world so much more real. And then Forbus appears--an emotionless killer who I can almost empathize with through Schreck's writer's lens:

"Forbus found Dunn a fascinating quarry. First of all, having an opponent who was a woman was different and presented Forbus with different variables. Second, and maybe this was related to being a woman, Dunn was fired with emotion. It made it difficult to predict her behavior or call her next move. Third, she seemed to have this outdated Hollywood version of honor."

Doesn't that make you want to get to know Forbus better. Certainly, I'd never want to be in her cross hairs, but reading about her--that feels safe. I wriggled into my reading chair and ignored the clock's call to bed.

About 3/4ths of the way into the story, the plot took a dangerous turn from willing suspension of disbelief to, well, skepticism. A plot twist (which I won't reveal because I don't want to spoil the story) turned the story's entire theme on end, so significantly it now required a different sort of reader to enjoy the new direction. I consider Schreck's audience to be thriller/action readers--kind of like TJ, with a sense of honor, belief in country, a bias for action. The change required a conspiracy theory believer--someone who was willing to believe concepts like the American government actively caused 9/11. Yes, that's a valid audience, but not the one who picked up this book. I liked the book greatly up to this point, and now it seems ridiculous, like I was tricked.

The odd part is, what that twist accomplished could have been done with any number of other devices that were true to the theme of the story. I don't understand why Schreck selected this one, unless he has some political point he wants subtly to make.

I was prepared to award 4/5 stars (Schreck is still developing his plotting techniques as a writer which cost him a star. I expect each book, he'll be stronger in that area), but now I'm struggling to give 3/5. And, I'm not sure I'll read any more of his books. I feel sad about that. I'll miss Duffy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schreck has Gotten It Dunn Once Again! July 31 2012
By Ginny Tata-Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tom Schreck has reached beyond his Duffy and Al books to bring us Getting Dunn. Although our old favorite characters of Tom's make an appearance in Getting Dunn, we have a new heroine in TJ. Back from a combat tour, TJ copes with her personal demons, some PostTraumatic Stress and her healing body and psyche.

It takes some kind of courage to branch out from a popular, well received series to introduce a whole new world to readers and Tom has that courage. The fact that these two literary worlds brielfy touch leaves the reader excited for the possibility of more stories to come with romantic or dramatic interactions between TJ's world and Duffy's.

Keep writing and we will keep reading! With Las Vegas Knock Out and Getting Dunn coming out this summer, Schreck's fans have two great reads in a row!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Walk Away From the War June 1 2012
By Patricia H. Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
T. J. Dunn has seen much more of life than most women her age. Right out of college, she went on active duty as an Army Lieutenant in Iraq. When we first meet her, she is traveling in a UAH along a street in an Iraqi town. Her unit is attacked, they find themselves surrounded, and her Platoon Sergeant is shot in the head right next to her. She realizes that the unit's 50 calibre gun is running low on ammunition, and the only supplies are strapped to the outside of the UAH. As she crawls out on the outside of the vehicle, she is shot in the arm and falls off onto the road, out in the open, and she knows she is going to die. As she watches her vehicle pull away from her, leaving her all alone, it explodes.

The reader next finds T. J., still in a drugged fog, in the hospital, three days later. The chaplain and one of her and her fiancé's best friends, David Strickland, come to her, and she knows they bring news that her whole unit was killed in the explosion of the UAH. However, they also bring the news that her fiancé, Captain David Halle, has committed suicide. T.J and David were not stationed together, but he was also on active duty in Iraq. She is confused and distraught. Captain Halle was not the type to commit suicide. Also, he is the second man close to her who has taken this action. Her father, also an Army Officer, had committed suicide, without warning, a few years earlier.

Having been released from active duty, we find T.J. a year later, having run away from everything and everyone from her past, working as a stripper in a bar in Albany, New York and spending her spare time as a volunteer on a Suicide Hotline for a local charity.. She has no friends and keeps to herself. A few of the dancers and a couple of the other volunteers have become acquaintances, but she doesn't let them get close, and she never speaks about her past. However, her past haunts her, and she is in counseling to help with the pain, but, to her, this is a new day, and she doesn't want to even consider the old ones. Then, one night, she looks up during her performance, and thinks she sees David Strickland in the crowd. She looks for him later, but he has disappeared. From that point on, the story gets deeper and murkier. She finally realizes that, for some unknown reason, someone is trying to kill her, and it has something to do with Iraq, David's suicide and secrets she may or may not know.

"Getting Dunn" is an intriguing book with a thrilling story. The reader is led from one point to another until the truth is laid out and the secrets are revealed. It is a well constructed tale with T. J. not knowing which are the good guys and which the bad until the very end. Mr. Schreck has written some other books which have won top awards in their genre. I recommend this book highly as it never lets up, and there are no down spots as this young woman fights her way back to some semblance of normalcy in a life which hadn't known much up until that time.
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