Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Eternal Life"

Dara Horn received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish. In 2007 she was chosen by Granta magazine as one of 20 “Best Young American Novelists.” Her first novel, In the Image, received a 2003 National Jewish Book Award, the 2002 Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the 2003 Reform Judaism Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The World to Come, received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, was selected as an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and as one of the Best Books of 2006 by The San Francisco Chronicle, and has been translated into eleven languages. Her third novel, All Other Nights, was selected as an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and was one of Booklist’s 25 Best Books of the Decade. In 2012, her nonfiction e-book The Rescuer was published by Tablet magazine and became a Kindle bestseller. Her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, was selected as one of Booklist’s Best Books of 2013 and was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Horn applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Eternal Life, and reported the following:
I was dreading answering this question, knowing how totally arbitrary page 69 is—or frankly any page other than Page 1. So I grudgingly opened my new novel to page 69, already preparing my thoughts on how meaningless this was.

To my astonishment, page 69 of Eternal Life happens to be the page on which the entire key to the novel’s plot is revealed.

Eternal Life is a book about a woman who can’t die. This is not a particularly original premise, of course. Stories about immortality or the quest for it are as old as literature. But in thinking through these stories, I noticed the strange fact that none of them are about fertile women. My main character has been married dozens of times, has had hundreds of children—and has outlived them all. How did she get into this situation? Well, it’s on page 69.

While most of the book is set in contemporary America, page 69 comes at the heart of the book, when Rachel is a young and still-mortal woman in Roman-occupied Jerusalem. She’s in love with the son of the High Priest in the ancient Jewish temple, despite being married to someone else. When her child with her lover falls ill, she makes a divine vow before the High Priest to save her child’s life. The price of this vow, as the High Priest explains to her, is her death: “You must sacrifice your own death for him to live. It means that your child will live, but you will never die.”

Mothers will do anything for their children, right? Rachel doesn’t hesitate. She won’t appreciate just what this means until much later, when her city is on fire… and also much, much, much, much later, in 2018, when most of the book takes place. But that’s the part that takes place before page 69, and after, and throughout her eternal life.
Learn more about the author and her work at Dara Horn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Lullaby Road"

James Anderson was born in Seattle and raised in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and received his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Boston. For many years he worked in book publishing. Other jobs have included logging, commercial fishing and, briefly, truck driver. He currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and the Four Corners region of the American Southwest. The Never-Open Desert Diner is his first novel.

Anderson applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Lullaby Road, and reported the following:
I’ve answered this question before, and at first I tended to think of it as a bit foolish. On second thought, the question does make a novelist think hard about how a work as long and intricate as a novel fits together, allowing for shifts in tone and plot and yet somehow also cohesive and representative of the narrative and, in the case of Lullaby Road, the narrator. Lullaby Road is filled with Ben Jones’, a Native American/Jewish trucker in the high desert of Utah, interactions with the eccentrics and self-exiled he serves along a hundred mile stretch of highway. Solitude and privacy are sought and cherished; yet, Ben knows and respects each individual as a human being, though often a very troubled and flawed human being. In these interactions we see how people often dance around each other, the pushme-pullyou of human connections, and how we manage to communicate much more than we intend. This is what is happening on page 69 of Lullaby Road when Ben takes a young, mute Hispanic child and an infant to be cared for by an older, though still beautiful New York socialite who has banished herself to the Utah desert. In that sense, it is representative of the novel.
Visit James Anderson's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Never-Open Desert Diner.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes"

USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose Smith's 100th novel is a 2018 release. She writes both cozy mysteries, romance novels and women’s fiction. One of her romances was aired as a TV movie on the UP TV network. Her passion is caring for her five rescued cats. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography. An only child, Smith delved into books at an early age. Even though she escaped into story worlds, she had many cousins around her on weekends. Families are a strong theme in all of her novels. She's recently working on her Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series as well as her Daisy Tea Garden mystery series.

Smith applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes, and reported the following:
At its core, the first book in my new Daisy’s Tea Garden series Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes, is a novel about family—my sleuth Daisy’s family as well as the murder victim’s family and relationships. Page 69 is significant because it spotlights the significant relationship between Daisy, a widowed mom, and Jazzi (Jasmine) her fifteen year old adopted daughter.

From page 69:
...The name of the website was Bonds Forever. After a quick look, Daisy could see it was one of those websites where children who were adopted could register to find their birth parents.

Jazzi must have seen the stunned look on her mother’s face. “This has nothing to do with you,” she told Daisy quickly. “I mean, nothing to do about you being my mom. I want to find my birth parents.”

Over the years, they’d had plenty of discussions about being adopted—how Jazzi had been a gift to her and Ryan, how she’d been a child of their hearts. But since Ryan had died, they hadn’t talked as much as they should have. Her daughter Violet had expressed her grief and sadness over her dad's loss much more openly than Jazzi, and Daisy had given her younger daughter the opportunity and the time to grieve in her own way. But maybe that hadn't been the right thing to do. After all, their life had been in Florida. With Ryan gone, Daisy had moved them back to Willow Creek, changing everything.
How does Daisy feel about this elemental turn of events? How will her biological daughter Violet look at her sister searching for her “real” parents? How will this distract Daisy from her search for a murderer when her Aunt Iris—co owner and manager of Daisy’s Tea Garden—becomes Detective Rappaport’s main suspect?

As Daisy involves the murder victim’s family in conversations, their dysfunctional co-dependency turns her feelings inward when considering her family relationships. Although Daisy’s family is close, Daisy gets along with and confides much more easily in her aunt than her mother Rose. She and her father Sean are close. Loving and supporting her sister Camellia in her career choices, Daisy had still felt friction between them as they'd grown up...mostly because of Daisy’s mom.

If readers read page 69, I believe they will understand what “family” means to my cozy mysteries.
Visit Karen Rose Smith's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Karen Rose Smith & Hope and Riley.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


After graduating from Stanford University, Martha Freeman worked as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, substitute teacher, college lecturer, advertising copywriter and magazine writer before finding her true calling as a writer of children's books. She has since written more than 20 books for children.

Freeman applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Zap, and reported the following:
I’d like to say that as it happens, Page 69 in Zap is my very favorite.

Only I’m not sure an author is well-advised to single out one page that way. I mean, doesn’t a favorite imply that the other pages are lesser? And if it does, wouldn’t the wise and time-pressed reader just go to the favorite page, and skip everything else?

Zap is a novel for and about kids that takes place in a troubled city I call Hampton, New Jersey. At 7:42 one ordinary morning, the lights go out … and stay out. Soon our sixth-grade hero Luis comes to realize something scary. He has a clue about what caused the outage that no one else has. Worse, the authorities are way too busy to pay attention to a kid. As the situation gets desperate, Luis and his ex-best friend Maura get busy. To bring back the power, they brave abandoned houses in Luis’s blighted neighborhood, take on a gang of toughs and outwit a ruthless unknown adversary.

Page 69 depicts a moment of high drama. In the dark, three drunk teens led by a kid named Tony break into Luis’s favorite bodega and threaten the owner, Senora Alvaro. Scared out of his wits, Luis tries to think clearly:
Tony’s around sixteen, I think. I can take him if I have to. I can take him because I’m smarter. Also, I haven’t been drinking. No problem. An opposing voice spoke in Luis’s head, too, a sane one…. You’re eleven. You are half his size. All those push-ups won’t count for much against his weight advantage. You are going to get annihilated. Run while you can!
No spoilers except to say the outcome is both realistic and (I hope) funny, and Luis lives to fight another day.

I’m no electrical engineer, so writing Zap required quite a bit of research. In a way, I learned about electricity, the electric grid and computer hacking right along with my characters. One more fun fact about Zap: Luis, the hero, is loosely based on a friend of mine who grew up in Camden, New Jersey, and recently moved back to that city. There are photos of the real Luis and his family at the end of the book, and a letter to readers from him, too.

No doubt you are a wise reader and probably time-pressed. Knowing Page 69 is the author’s favorite, maybe you are tempted to read it and skip the rest?

But, reader, please don’t. To grasp the full glory that is Zap Page 69, you are going to have to read the preceding and succeeding pages, too. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Visit Martha Freeman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Strudel's Forever Home.

The Page 69 Test: Strudel's Forever Home.

Writers Read: Martha Freeman.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"The Girls in the Picture"

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Previous historical novels include the national bestseller Alice I Have Been, about Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, the story of 32-inch-tall Lavinia Warren Stratton, a star during the Gilded Age.

Benjamin applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Girls in the Picture, and reported the following:
From page 69:
All through the film, Mary's hand gripped my arm. She was as feverish as I was, her fingernails digging deeper and deeper until, when at last she let go, I had four distinct red marks in my flesh. But I didn't mind. The two of us were one - one living, breathing, stupefied being, wholly and entirely transfixed. Just like everyone else in the audience caught up in this sweeping, emotional vortex that sucked us all in and wouldn't let go until the very end, when the hero and heroine were together at last, and the image faded to the ultimate title.
This is such a perfect example of how Mary Pickford and Frances Marion bonded over their passion for film. On this page, they are seeing for the first time D.W. Griffith's epic film, The Birth of a Nation. They're in the audience, just like everyone else. And they're blown away by the huge step forward that this represented at the time. While we today rightly remember this film as a disturbing example of blatant racism, in 1915 when it premiered, it was acknowledged to be a groundbreaking film. This was the first film that had an original score written for it (to be played by orchestras in the movie houses), the first to use fade in/fade out technique, the first to use rapid cutting to indicate thrilling action. So Mary and Frances are just as blown away by its artistry and technique as the rest of the audience; this passage establishes their shared love and ambition for this new art form.
Learn more about the book and author at Melanie Benjamin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Alice I Have Been.

The Page 69 Test: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

My Book, The Movie: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

The Page 69 Test: The Aviator's Wife.

The Page 69 Test: The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Pretty Girls Dancing"

Kylie Brant is a native Midwesterner and resides in Iowa. She has the distinction of selling the first book she ever wrote. That began a career that has spanned forty novels. She’s garnered numerous nominations and awards, including twice winning the overall Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in mystery and suspense, and a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Brant is a three-time RITA nominee and has been nominated for five RT awards. Her recent novel, Pretty Girls Dancing, was a #1 Amazon bestseller.

Brant applied the Page 69 Test to Pretty Girls Dancing and reported the following:
Pretty Girls Dancing is my thirty-ninth novel. Seven years ago, fourteen-year-old Kelsey Willard disappeared, and was presumed dead. She left behind a fractured family--a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It's ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.

Pretty Girls Dancing is told in five revolving viewpoints: Whitney, a recently kidnapped teenage girl; Janie, the sister of Kelsey Willard, who was kidnapped seven years earlier and is a presumed victim of the Ten Mile Killer; Claire Willard, Kelsey and Janie's mother; David Willard, Kelsey and Janie's father; and Mark Foster, a BCI investigator on Whitney's case. Page 69 is fairly representative of the book, as it’s a turning point in the story. Mark Foster is just leaving the home of Whitney DeVries. The ballet slipper he saw on the girl’s bedroom floor has him remembering the case files from the unsolved Ten Mile Killer case. All the victims’ bodies' had been discovered clad in a leotard, a tutu, tights and ballet slippers. Many of them had taken dance.
Suddenly in a hurry, Mark headed through the door and down the hall, with Shannon at his heels. Moments later he was hunching against the wind's bitter bite as he hastened to his car. If he did speak to the other agent tonight, he knew better than to share the thought that had struck him as he'd contemplated that ballet slipper. The older man would chew his ass. Probably rightfully so.

He slipped into the vehicle. Started it. The memory of the dance shoe refused to be shunted aside. It looked like thousands of others worn by girls across America.

It also looked like those worn by the dead victims of the Ten Mile Killer.
The page has Mark coming to the conclusion that to save one girl, he must first solve the riddles that died with another--Kelsey Willard herself. I hope that reading page 69 would intrigue the reader enough to want to read on to discover the truth about the two missing girls.
Watch the trailer for Pretty Girls Dancing.

Read more about Kylie Brant's work at her website.

Writers Read: Kylie Brant.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 13, 2018

"The Sea of the Dead"

Barry Wolverton has been writing for children for over 20 years, helping create books, documentary television, and online content for Discovery Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and Time-Life Books, among others.

His debut novel, Neversink, was named the Children’s Book of Choice by Literacy Mid-South for their Read Across America program in 2014.

Wolverton applied the Page 69 Test to The Sea of the Dead, his latest novel in The Chronicles of the Black Tulip, and reported the following:
As it happens, page 69 in The Sea of the Dead is the opening of Chapter 7: “The Queen of Cashmere.” It begins:
Archibald Black stared at the girl with the uncommonly green eyes, and she in turn stared at him. They were sitting face-to-face in an ornate, vaulted room that completely defied Black’s expectations. He and David Owen had been led by Prester Thaddeus down a dark alley to an unmarked door, and when the girl let them in, they had passed through a crumbling corridor that reeked of garbage and twitched with rats.
This is a critical point in the book, and also a bridge between The Dragon’s Gate and The Sea of the Dead, the final two books in the trilogy. One of the unresolved plot points at the end of book 2 was, will David Owen (father of the protagonist, Ben Owen) and Archibald Black (Bren’s friend and a father figure) ever reunite with Bren after their ill-planned rescue attempt? They have escaped capture by the army of Mogul emperor Akbar in India, but now they find themselves in Cashmere, where their problems are about to get worse. That’s because they have crossed paths with book 3’s two new main characters, a woman named Shveta and an unusual young girl in her care named Ani. Shveta claims she is descended from the last authentic ruler of Cashmere, before the Mogul invasion, and believes it is her destiny to restore independence to Cashmere and rule as its queen. The way David Owen and Archibald Black extricate themselves from the pickle they find themselves in turns out to be a key to bringing all the main characters from all three books back together.
Visit Barry Wolverton's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Vanishing Island.

My Book, The Movie: The Sea of the Dead.

Writers Read: Barry Wolverton.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Before I Let Go"

Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she spends as much time in fictional worlds as she does the real world. She loves to travel, roll dice, and daydream. Her #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel, This Is Where It Ends, follows four teens during the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting. Her sophomore novel, Before I Let Go, is a haunting young adult murder mystery set during a cruel Alaskan winter.

Nijkamp applied the Page 69 Test to Before I Let Go and reported the following:
Page 69 of Before I Let Go is only half a page, but very representative of the first part of the book. It’s a fragment of a phone call between Corey, the main character, and Eileen, one of Corey’s friends at her boarding school. In it, Corey talks about returning home. Home is Lost Creek, Alaska, the place she used to live before her family up and moved to Canada. Home is where Kyra, Corey’s best friend since childhood, lived. Except, Kyra died mere days before Corey got on the plane back, and now she’s left with discovering what exactly happened in the months since she was away. As a result, Corey has to confront secrets about Lost Creek and about herself. She has to confront a home that doesn’t feel like a home anymore, where nothing is quite how she remembered it or even entirely real. People call her an outsider. Corey tells Eileen, “I feel like a stranger.“ But what she doesn’t know yet, is that things are only about to get stranger from here.
Visit Marieke Nijkamp's website.

The Page 69 Test: This Is Where It Ends.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Only the Rain"

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of over a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. Also a prize-winning playwright, a produced screenwriter, and a prolific essayist, he has been published and produced in virtually every field and genre of creative writing.

Silvis applied the Page 69 Test to his new psychological suspense novel, Only the Rain, and reported the following:
On page 69 of the hardcover edition of Only the Rain, Russell, the narrator, wrestles with what to do with his ill-gotten gains. Unfortunately for him, he’s not a championship thinker. He knows that he has to do something before the crap hits the fan, but what? Every plan has its own consequences. And those consequences have their consequences. And the fan keeps spinning.

Like most young adults, the first twenty-something years of Russell’s life had been guided, if not determined, by others. He was raised by his grandparents, went into the Army right after high school, got married, had two kids, went to college, got a job. All along the way he had people telling him what to do, or people expecting him to behave in a particular way. Now, because of one spontaneous decision, he finds himself with no one to advise him. His is a man utterly alone, and at wit’s end.

So he draws on past advice from the three people he relied on when he was younger. But that advice is contradictory, and much of it seems barely relevant to his current dilemma.

Man, he thinks, all I ever wanted or expected out of life was to have a decent job…, stay reasonably healthy, raise good kids and put them on their own paths to success, and then enjoy my last twenty years or so playing with my grandkids.

Page 69 occurs approximately a third of the way into the novel. Russell is about to make another decision that will lock him into a potentially disastrous confrontation with the bad guys. He is about to discover, for better or worse, what all of us must eventually learn: that every decision we make has the potential to either stain or illuminate the soul.
Learn more about the book and author at Randall Silvis's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Boy Who Shoots Crows.

My Book, The Movie: The Boy Who Shoots Crows.

My Book, The Movie: Only the Rain.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 7, 2018

"Splintered Silence"

Susan Furlong is the author of the Georgia Peach Mystery series. She also contributes to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries under the pen name Lucy Arlington. She has worked as a freelance writer, academic writer, ghost writer, translator, high-school language arts teacher, and martial arts instructor. Raised in North Dakota, Furlong graduated from Montana State University with a double major in French and Spanish. She and her family live in central Illinois.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new suspense novel, Splintered Silence, the first in the Bone Gap Travellers series, and reported the following:
Splintered Silence’s protagonist, Brynn Callahan, is an Irish Traveller. Scattered in clans throughout the United States, Travellers live secretively and are often marginalized by the rest of the population, who Travellers refer to as “settled people”. Page 69 of Splintered Silence demonstrates the tension that buzzes throughout the novel between Travellers and Settled people, especially the local law. Here is a description that shows Brynn’s distrust and instant dislike of Deputy Sheriff Harris:
He stared down his high-bridged nose at me, his pout little mouth curving upward in a sneer. Harris had a baby face, complete with pudgy cheeks that might inspire a pinch or two from a women three times my age. All I wanted to do was slap them silly.
One of the most prominent themes in Splintered Silence is the human/canine bond. Brynn is an ex-Marine and dog handler. She and Wilco, a HRD (Human Remains Detection) dog, served three military tours. Now they’re back home in rural Appalachia, wounded, suffering from PTSD and trying to assimilate into civilian culture. They rely on each other; their relationship is tight and fiercely loyal. This excerpt sets up a fight scene between Brynn and Harris:
I was about to fire back with something witty when the sound of running water drew my attention to the side of the deputy’s parked cruiser. Only it wasn’t water, but Wilco. He was relieving himself on the deputy’s tire … I tilted my head back and let the laughs roll. And roll.

… Harris … did the ultimate in stupid. He swung his foot at my dog, trying to kick him. “Get the hell away from my car, you friggin’ mutt.”

I stopped laughing.
(The rest of the fight scene unfolds on page 70 and is representative of the Brynn and Wilco’s relationship and the lengths to which Brynn will go to protect one of her own.)

My Page 69 is a transition page, working up to a large scene, but still holds hints of many of the themes presented throughout the book. Splintered Silence examines several social issues: PTSD, class tensions, human/dog bond, prejudices, the Irish Traveller sub-culture, addiction … and weaves these topics into a fast-paced crime story.
Visit Susan Furlong's website.

Writers Read: Susan Furlong.

My Book, The Movie: Splintered Silence.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 5, 2018

"The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily"

Laura Creedle writes about her experiences as an ADHD writer at her website and blog. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Creedle applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily, and reported the following:
From page 69:
We settled in to eat tofu and watch ‘Bringing Up Baby.’ The sight of Cary Grant in a pink, frilly dressing gown chasing a leopard— pretty hilarious. But what really got me was watching Katharine Hepburn, as Susan, destroy cars, lose important relics, rip off the back of her dress, and unleash a dangerous animal on her unsuspecting neighbors—all while talking a mile a minute and being adorable. Maybe I should have lived in the thirties. Because—screwball.

“Well, what did you think, Lily?” Rosalind’s mom said as the credits rolled.

“Awesome,” I replied.

“Really?” she said. “But did you really enjoy it?”

“Oh, my god— You know, whatever I break, at least I will never destroy an entire brontosaurus skeleton. Susan was like ADHD on steroids.”

I can say stuff around Rosalind’s parents because they’ve known me since kindergarten.

“ADHD—classic,” Rosalind’s dad said, looking up from his laptop. “Never thought about that before.”

“Well, next we’re going to watch ‘His Gal Friday,’” Rosalind’s Mom said. “It stars the actress we named Rosalind after and…”

“Sorry mother,” Rosalind interrupted. “Regretfully, we must depart for my room.”

Rosalind bolted toward the hall and I followed.
If you opened my book the page 69 looking for swoon-worthy romance or quotes from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, you might be disappointed. While there’s plenty of romance, medieval references, and love letters in the rest of the novel, there’s just as much of Lily thinking about what it means to be Neuro-divergent. Since both Lily and Abelard are ND, and Lily is failing out of school, it comes up a lot. Would you keep reading? Depends on what you think about Lily’s voice, and your tolerance for em—dashes. Breaking things, being “broken” is a big theme in my novel and this page is pretty typical in that regard.
Visit Laura Creedle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"The Bomb Maker"

Thomas Perry's novels include the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and A String of Beads), Death Benefits, Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the prestigious Edgar Award.

Perry applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Bomb Maker, and reported the following:
This is always an interesting test, because it almost always turns up a page that’s a fair sample of the rest of the book. Page 69 in The Bomb Maker is the last part of one of the central scenes. Dick Stahl, the former boss and team leader of the LAPD bomb squad, has returned because the squad has lost half its technicians in a single blast. His first bomb is a car chained to the pumps of a gas station. In this scene he and his two team members have removed most of the military-grade explosives in the car, but found a final piece, a ten-inch pipe two feet long that’s had its ends epoxied shut. He and the team believe it’s got a mercury tilt switch under the cap. If it’s not level it will explode. Stahl and his team put the bomb in a backpack, put a spirit level from the tool box on it, and Stahl, walking slowly and alone, carries it on his chest down into the dry concrete riverbed about a hundred yards away to put it in a containment vessel and detonate it. Page 69 is the detonation of the huge charge. I like this page 69 because it tells us who Dick Stahl really is, and gives us a single image of what it can mean to be a bomb technician.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Thomas Perry.

--Marshal Zeringue