Interesting setting - this story of a Pulitzer-winning newspaper reporter, set in the post-Watergate era, taps Dunning's own experience in the field. Dalton Walker, having just accepted a position with a New York City-area paper, encounters a story before ever setting foot in his new employer's offices: he comes upon a fire at a small circus that has taken the lives of several patrons, and Walker is enlisted by emergency personnel to help remove the body of a small girl. Following up on the tragedy and intending to write a feature on it, Walker discovers that the girl's body has not been claimed. Intrigued by the idea that someone would bring a child to the circus and then abandon her body, he sets about trying to identify her and in the process uncovers a deeper mystery, entangling him in an FBI investigation that threatens his career, and ultimately his life.
This reissue includes a fascinating introduction by Dunning about his writing process and the impetus behind Deadline.