Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Someone's Watching"

Sharon Potts worked as a CPA, business executive, and entrepreneur before turning to a career of murder and becoming a crime fiction writer. Potts’s Miami-based thrillers are about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Her debut novel, In Their Blood, won top honors in the Mystery/Suspense category of the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Awards. Her latest thriller, Someone's Watching was called "shiver-rich" by Publishers Weekly, and “stunningly well-handled” by Booklist.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Someone’s Watching and reported the following:
Page 69:
Robbie jogged back to her apartment. Breathing was difficult. Her sister’s friend was dead. It was tragic, but it only heightened Robbie’s sense of urgency to find Kate. But where could she be? And how was all this affecting their father?

Robbie ran upstairs. It was after nine, too late for the local news. She wondered if the TV cameras had captured footage for the early morning broadcasts. Would any of Kate or Joanne’s friends have seen it? And what about Kate? Could she have been watching from somewhere? Robbie logged onto her computer and went straight to Facebook. First she looked for a message from Kate Brooks. Nothing.

Then Robbie searched for Joanne Sparks. And there she was. Although the photo was different from the one on the police flyer, Robbie recognized the young, narrow face. Joanne was smiling, hugging a horse. Happy. Alive. Unlike Kate Brooks, Joanne had not blocked her profile. Just what Robbie had been hoping for.

She looked for messages on Joanne’s Facebook wall. Somehow, Joanne’s friends had already gotten the news of her death and set up a group to share their grief.

Oh no. This can’t be real ... I love you Joanne ...

You can’t really be gone ... you’ll always be in my heart ...
Someone’s Watching is both a thriller and a story about family and relationships. Robbie Ivy is working as a bartender on South Beach, trying to keep her life simple and commitment-free, when her father, whom she hasn’t seen in eighteen years, shows up at her apartment with a shocking revelation. Robbie has a half-sister whom she never knew about. But just as Robbie’s absorbing the idea of a new family, her father tells her that her sister Kate and a friend named Joanne, have disappeared while on spring break in South Beach. Reluctant to reestablish family ties with a father who deserted her and an unknown sister, Robbie is hesitant to get involved. Then the body of Kate’s friend washes up in the creek a short distance from where Robbie lives.

Page 69 begins at a turning point in the story, with Robbie shown here returning from Indian Creek, where Joanne’s body has been round. Robbie is propelled into action to find her sister, before Kate suffers the fate of her friend. This chapter shows an analytical, proactive Robbie, who’s not going to leave things to the police. But it also reveals Robbie’s emotional journey—concern for her estranged father, empathy for Joanne’s friends, shock at the premature, unexpected death of a young woman.

This is a slow, cerebral passage, which gives more of a sense of mystery, than thriller. In that regard, it isn’t representative on the overall book, which tends to be fast-paced and intense with roller-coaster twists that wind through the corrupt and decadent South Beach club scene. But let Robbie have a break now. She’ll need it.
Learn more about the book and author at Sharon Potts' website.

My Book, The Movie: Someone’s Watching.

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

--Marshal Zeringue