He applied the Page 69 Test to Finding Jack, his first novel, and reported the following:
As a happy co-incidence, page 69 in Finding Jack is a very important page in the novel. It deals with the moment when Fletcher (our soldier protagonist), rescues Jack (the wounded yellow Labrador) and has to account for his actions to an apoplectic Lieutenant who believes that his conduct has jeopardized the safety of the entire platoon.Learn more about the book and author at Gareth Crocker's website and blog.
If we stand back from this moment, we realize that the Lieutenant’s concerns are almost ironic when compared to the reality of the war. Finding Jack deals with the hundreds of tracker, scout and sentry dogs that were abandoned in South East Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. All told, some 4,000 dogs were sent into the war to protect U.S. and allied soldiers. Amongst other things, they were able to track down enemy soldiers, sniff out ambushes and traps, detect enemy holdings and even lead at point during incursions. It’s widely believed they saved more than 10,000 lives. Yet, despite this, and in an effort to save money at the end of the conflict, the majority of the dogs were either euthanized or abandoned and left to fates unknown.
Within this real-life landscape, Finding Jack is the inspirational story about one soldier who refuses to abandon his dog and the remarkable plan he hatches.
How far would you go to save your best friend?
Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.