Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Recovery Man"

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy writer. She has written many novels under various names, including Kristine Grayson for romance, and Kris Nelscott for mystery. Her novels have made the bestseller lists and have been published in 14 countries and 13 different languages.

applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel Recovery Man, the sixth volume in the "The Retrieval Artist" series, and reported the following:
I think the p. 69 test works. It is representative of the novel with a big however. It’s in the middle of an already convoluted plot, so it does sort of float out there without references.

The point of view character in this section is 13-year-old Talia Shindo. Her mother, Rhonda, has just been kidnapped. Talia was left behind, unwanted, by the kidnapper. Talia’s mother had told her if there was ever any problem, to contact an attorney named Martin Oberholst in Armstrong, on Earth’s moon — which is a strange request, considering Rhonda & Talia live on Callisto, one of the moons of Jupiter.

This section shows the beginning of the conversation.

The Retrieval Artist, Miles Flint, doesn’t show up in this section. But it is his book as well and there are even hints of that in here.

Why the section is representative is that it brings in several plot threads, as well as Talia who is my favorite character in this book. Her voice is pretty strong here. She’s in a terrible crisis which she’s trying to solve herself, without knowing why everything is happening to her. It’s one of the threads of the book — the importance and drawbacks of secrets — and it’s on display here.

Page 69:

Besides, how could Mom have killed people in that wind-swept field? She never went anywhere. Until she came to Callisto, she’d never even been off Earth’s moon.

Unless that was a lie too.

Finally, a voice reached her. It was distant and thin, and it came after some text that warned her someone was going to contact her.

The voice said, “This is Celestine Gonzalez.”

By now, Talia was so annoyed, she almost said, Good for you. But she didn’t. Mom wouldn’t have liked it, and right now, she was doing what Mom told her.

“I wanted Martin Oberholst.” Talia knew she sounded petulant, but she didn’t care. This was an emergency. She’d told them that, and they hadn’t listened.

“Yes, I know, Miss Flint,” Celestine Gonzalez said after a slight delay. “But Mr. Oberholst no longer handles cases.”

“This isn’t a case,” Talia said. “This is my life. My mother’s been kidnapped.”

And my name isn’t Flint, but she didn’t say that either. No sense in confusing the matters any more than they already were.

“That’s what it says here,” Gonzalez said. “When did this happen?”

“I don’t know,” Talia said. “An hour or two ago. Mom told me to contact Mr. Oberholst if anything happened.”

“Our records show that you are contacting me from Callisto. Can’t you contact an attorney there?”

“Can I talk to someone who knows what’s going on?” Talia didn’t scream, but she came close. “Mom told me to call you people if anything happened to her. She said you’d take care of me.”

“Even though we’re on Armstrong?”

Visit Kristine Kathryn Rusch's website to learn more about Recovery Man and her other books and stories.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue