Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Wink of an Eye"

Lynn Chandler Willis has worked in the corporate world, the television news business, and the newspaper industry. She was born, raised, and continues to live in the heart of North Carolina within walking distance of her children and their spouses and her nine grandchildren. She shares her home, and heart, with Sam the cocker spaniel.

Willis applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Wink of an Eye, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I went to a different program and did a quick background check on Mr. Peterson. He was born in El Paso, thirty-eight years old, married to Susan Peterson, no kids. He’d been with the Winkler County Sheriff’s Department ten years. Prior to that, he spent five years with the Border Patrol. No demerits, not even a speeding ticket.

I switched programs and did a more advanced search, digging deep into his financials. His tax records indicated his net income was $42,000; Susan pulled in $27,000 as an administrative clerk at Kermit Regional Hospital. Not a bad joint income. Their credit history was clean, nothing out of the ordinary. They paid their few bills on time; their credit-to-debt ratio was minimal. There were no bank notes, no car payments, no mortgage payment. Utilities, insurance, home owners’ association dues, and an American Express with a small balance appeared to be their only bills.

The Petersons’ joint income was good, but not that good. Since when did cops live in a neighborhood with dues? The tax value on their home was $335,000. Impressive home on a cop and a secretary’s salaries. Although they had no kids to support, it didn’t explain their high standard of living.

I hooked up the portable printer and printed Petersons’ financial information, wondering if he could really be that stupid. Cops on the take get busted everyday for living above their taxable means.

Gram looked over the printout. “Isn’t this illegal?”


“What you’re doing. That there’s personal information.”

“That’s what I get paid to do, Gram. Find out stuff like this.”

“But they ain’t paying you for this job, are they?”
Is page 69 indicative of the rest of Wink of an Eye? Yes and no. Yes, it shows a small part of the technical aspects of Private Investigator Gypsy Moran's investigation. Gypsy is a modern-age, tech savvy investigator with information gathering apps at his fingertips. Not all of his investigative work is done in surveillance mode from the captain's chair in his van.

Page 69 also gives us a glimpse into Gypsy's wise-cracking grandmother's personality as well as their love-hate relationship. It also exposes one truth Gypsy would rather forget about—he agreed to do this investigation pro-bono. So, yes, he's tech-savvy, a thorough investigator, has a love/hate relationship with his grandmother, and a big ol' Texas-sized soft heart.

What it doesn't give us is the smart-ass, cocky, guy's guy who can take a punch as well as throw one. It doesn't give us the touching, emotional relationship developing between Gypsy and the twelve year-old boy who hires him to investigate his father's so-called suicide. It doesn't give us the heated passion of a rekindled old flame, nor the budding interest in a sexy reporter. It doesn't set the scene of the tiny west Texas town of Wink where sweat trickles from your brow as the heat rises in rippling waves from the scorching asphalt.

Page 69 is good unto itself, but there is so much more to that sexy Private Eye called Gypsy.
Visit Lynn Chandler Willis's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wink of an Eye.

--Marshal Zeringue