Author Ryan David Jahn uses rapid changes in point of view to keep up with all the action and to effectively capture the state of mind of the various characters. Told in a combination of internal monologue and omniscient narrator, the story moves quickly, sometimes disconcertingly so from inside Ian's depressed sadness to Maggie's struggle to survive and understand, to Henry Dean (the kidnapper), a psychopath who only wants to keep his wife Beatrice happy. Jahn also occasionally dips into the heads of minor characters when to do so helps move his story along. The effect of these rapid switches is sometimes a bit mind bending as the reader must change perspective with each leap to inside another character's head. Sometimes it isn't very pleasant in there, either. Nevertheless, the strategy helps turn the story into a page turner keeping the story moving at a breakneck pace. While the book is 368 pages long in paperback format, it moves along at a rapid rate.
Using fast shifts of point of view, lots of movement, and spreading violence, blood, pain, and gore across the the course of I-10 from Texas to California, Jahn has fashioned a fast-moving, tense, and often intriguing account of a father's quest to rescue his kidnapped daughter, the daughter's increasingly motivated urge to escape, and the kidnapper's pathological desire to keep his “family” together. Except for the plucky daughter Maggie, none of the characters is very likable, but Ian's quest serves, too, as a search for his own soul, a worthy enterprise. One element not rising to the level of believability is the sophistication of the daughter Maggie's thought processes. Even though Jahn explains her command of language and the world by referring to books and magazines left in the cellar where she's imprisoned for seven years as well as some instruction from the kidnapper's brother, her quick reactions and understanding of the world as she begins to become engaged in it don't quite rise to the level of believability. Nevertheless, The Dispatcher is a fast-paced an enjoyable thriller which will keep the reader engaged as the cross country chase continues.