Monday, December 8, 2008


Jan Brogan is a former correspondent for The Boston Globe and a freelance magazine writer. Her novels include Final Copy, A Confidential Source, and Yesterday's Fatal.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Teaser, and reported the following:
Page 69 captures my protagonist, Hallie Ahern, a newspaper reporter and recovering gambling addict, at her best. She is drawing information out of a reluctant source. In this case, it’s a fifteen-year old girl, Whitney Connors, who is about to reveal how she and her girlfriends got involved posting suggestive videos of themselves on a social networking site.

Hallie knows when to push for information, when to commiserate, feign ignorance, or just shut up and listen. A teenage girl is among the more skittish of possible sources. It takes a certain skill.

The setting on p. 69 also helps reveal the backdrop for the story. Whitney’s home is filled with large-screen televisions, laptops, and webcams used as a parenting tools. The mystery is all about the underside of that technology.

Hallie has given up the blackjack table at Foxwoods, but she has not addressed her compulsive nature or addiction to action. She always pushes her investigations a little too far. Here she’s set herself up for the adrenaline rush by agreeing to interview the teenager at her East Side home. Hallie has to keep an eye on the driveway, anxious the entire time that one of Whitney’s parents might come home early, kill the interview and her front page expose.

It’s a small tension, but it sets up the increasingly dangerous risks Hallie is willing to take as her investigation begins to reveal the criminal ring exploiting these young girls.

My books always have three plots running. What this page doesn’t capture is the newsroom subplot, the online pressures altering the journalistic landscape and changing the way Hallie must do her job. There’s also no hint of the conflicts in Hallie’s romantic relationship with prosecutor Matt Cavanaugh, and how their investigations into Newport, Rhode Island’s oceanfront criminal element may collide.
Read an excerpt from Teaser, and learn more about the author and her work at Jan Brogan's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue