He applied the "page 69 test" to the novel and reported the following:
If you opened to page 69 of The Lisbon Crossing, you’d get the flavor of the book, but you would have missed a lot of story by jumping in here. I’d like to think that you’d be intrigued enough to want to go back and find out why Jack Teller is sitting in a dusty bar at ten o’clock in the morning, and why he’s plying British newspaperman, Harry Thomspon, with one gin & tonic after another. Jack is after something -- information -- but page 69 wouldn’t tell you what.Read excerpts and learn more about The Lisbon Crossing at the publisher's website, and check out Tom Gabbay's website.
It’s the summer of 1940. The Nazi war machine has overrun most of Europe, and the world is on a knife’s edge waiting for the invasion of England. The information Jack is looking for could change the course of coming events. But, of course, that kind of information doesn’t come cheap. Particularly in Lisbon.
From page 69:
“I thought you might be able to point me in the right direction.”
“What made you think that?” He dug the lime out of his glass and squeezed it out onto his tongue. It made my back teeth cringe.
“You seem to know things.”
He gave me a long look. “You’re right about that. How’d you know where to find me?”
“You don’t exactly keep a low profile. I asked over at the casino.” He grunted and looked longingly into his empty glass. I signaled the barman for another.
“I have to come up with something in...” He looked at his pocket-watch. “Christ. Less than two hours. I hate my life. No, I hate my editor.” The G&T arrived and Harry helped himself to a healthy dose.
“How about an interview with Lili Sterne?” I said.
“Are you serious?”
“It’s not front page but at least it’s something,” he ruminated. “It’d keep them off my back for a few days, anyway. Would she do it?”
“No chance,” I said.
“Oh, well, then...up yours.” He saluted me with his glass and threw it back.
“You write what you want and as long as she comes out looking okay, there won’t be a problem.”
“Jack, boy, if she gets onto the paper they’ll have my nuts for lunch.”
“No problem,” I assured him. “I’m signing off on it.”
“Can you do that?”
I shrugged. “She won’t see it anyway.”
He weighed the idea. “I suppose I could do the ‘good German’ angle. She could say lots of nasty things about Hitler. Repulsive little man with a Napoleonic complex, that sort of thing.”
“There you go,” I encouraged him. He picked up the pen and scribbled the thought onto the pad.
“Be a good chap and order another one, will you?” he said, pushing his empty glass across the table. “I write much better when I’m sloshed and I’m not even close yet.”
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