Thursday, September 25, 2008

"The Mirror’s Edge"

Steven Sidor is the author of the acclaimed novels Skin River and Bone Factory.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, The Mirror’s Edge, and reported the following:
I'm different. Give me my chaos. What I know best.

The world isn't about you.

It isn't about being about anything.

Jase Deering, a freelance journalist, offers that self-assessment on Page 69 of The Mirror's Edge. I can't think of a better summing up of Jase's attitude early on. It also provides a glimpse into his tendency for reckless obsession. Jase thrives on digging into the unknown. He's a constant seeker. Though he doesn't always know exactly what he's looking for. Neither does he take into account the price of his journey. As he investigates the year-old cold case of the kidnapping of twin toddlers, what first appears to be an unsolved family tragedy turns into something darker and much, much stranger.

Jase isn't alone in this scene.

He's outside the Chicago Art Institute, eating gelato with his lover, Robyn Matchfrost. They're both reacting to the aftermath of a disastrous interview with the mother of the missing boys. It's a moment of fracture.

And it's also a point of divergence.

Robyn, who is legally blind and something of a recluse, wants to retreat into the safety of their shared private life. The disturbing encounter with the boys' mother has her on high alert.

Superstitious lady. The minute she meets resistance, the scenery thickens with portents. Chalk it up to her deep New England ancestry, this daughter of a Daughter of the American Revolution; her highbred anxieties are stitched into the bone. Madly organized, logical tending toward aloof, and a stickler for details – but still she's searching the skies for witches. Everything under the sun imbued with meaning, our pilgrim souls suffering constant perils, the universe divided into black and white. She loves the idea of order and the inherent drama when order is upset. She loves to control.

Jase resists.

Robyn throws a sexual temptation his way.

"I want to kick off these heels and listen to my Piaf records. Get a foot massage in front of the fireplace. How does that sound? I'll wear the mink bikini you bought in San Francisco."

But Jase sends Robyn home by herself as he delves deeper into the mystery. His obsession buys them two tickets to an occult underworld they never could have imagined. And from which they might never escape.

For a random sample of the book, it's telling.
Read an excerpt from The Mirror’s Edge, and learn more about the book and author at Steven Sidor's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue