Saturday, July 13, 2013


Kevin Egan graduated with a B.A. in English from Cornell University, where he studied creative writing under Dan McCall (Jack the Bear) and Robert Morgan (Gap Creek). He is the author of six novels, including the newly released Midnight.

Egan applied the Page 69 Test to Midnight and reported the following:
Page 69 of Midnight ends a chapter and has only seven lines of text. It depicts Tom Carroway entering the New York County Courthouse at dusk and riding the elevator to the fifth floor, where he works as law clerk to Judge Alvin Canter. Carol Scilingo, the judge’s secretary, is waiting in chambers with the judge’s coat on her lap. Even for a short passage, the scene has a quiet feel, with Tom uttering the only two words of dialog: “All clear.”

The situation is this: Earlier that day, which is New Year’s Eve, Judge Canter died while napping in his chambers. Court rules stipulate that when a judge dies his immediate staff retain their jobs until the end of that calendar year. Neither Tom nor Carol can afford to lose their jobs, as will occur at close of business. So they decide to take advantage of the largely deserted courthouse and smuggle the judge’s body to his apartment where, they hope, it will be assumed that he died after midnight in the new year.

On page 69, Tom is returning from staging the judge’s car outside the courthouse. Carol waits in chambers with the judge’s coat on her lap, while the judge himself is rolled up in a rug.

Midnight is constructed in four parts and covers a 72 hour period between December 31 and January 3. Page 69 is representative of the first part of the book, which maintains a tight focus on Tom, Carol, and their execution of what at first appears to be a successful plan to save their jobs. However, the mood of the book changes in Part 2 as the camera pulls back to reveal sinister characters and unforeseen consequences.
Learn more about the book and author at Kevin Egan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue