He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Mixed Blood, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Mixed Blood is about the least typical page in the book! My thriller is set in the South African port of Cape Town during a heat wave, with the mountains surrounding the city ablaze with bushfires. On Page 69, though, we flash back to snowbound Milwaukee where we learn why an American, Jack Burn, is hiding out in Cape Town with his pregnant wife and young son.Read an excerpt from Mixed Blood, and learn more about the book and author at Roger Smith's website, Facebook page, and Crimespace page.
Burn, a security expert with a gambling habit, got blackmailed into a bank heist. The gang hits a vault at night and gets away with a couple of million. They’re making their getaway in downtown Milwaukee when a prowl car stops them. There’s a shootout and a cop and two of Burn’s accomplices are killed, and the third wounded.
Burn vaulted the seats. He shoved the dead guy out of the van, got in behind the wheel and took off. The cop was still shooting. Burn floored the van, fishtailing, fighting to get it under control. As he drifted into a corner Burn saw the strobing lights of the cop car in pursuit. A block later it hit ice and spun one-eighty before collecting a lamppost and disappearing from Burn’s mirror.
Burn ditched the vehicle in a side street, grabbed one of the bags of money from the rear and took off into the night, leaving the van and the dying kid.
Jack Burn, his wife and four-year-old son flee the US with the dollars, choosing picture-postcard Cape Town as a hideout. But Cape Town has a flipside: millions of people live out on the Cape Flats, a ghetto where the homicide rate is off the charts. One night two meth-heads from Flats break into Burn’s house in a plush neighborhood, ready to rape and pillage. Burn protects his family, but this incident of random violence sets him on a collision course with a rogue cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ.
Watch Roger Smith's video introduction to Cape Town, the setting for Mixed Blood.
Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.