Winn applied the Page 69 Test to her new YA mystery/thriller, Beyond Suspicion, and reported the following:
Page 69 Beyond Suspicion is not representative of the whole book, but it does gives the reader a small peek at the budding romance between the protagonist, Shelby Palmer, and mysterious Matt. I think a reader who likes a little romance in a mystery will want to turn the page and learn more about both characters and why they are trying to alter her appearance from the police.Visit Catherine A. Winn's website.
Here is a quick summary of the circumstances leading up to this page.
Shelby sneaks out of the house and goes to the park where her brother Josh was kidnapped and finds his favorite toy in the woods. Not knowing she’s under surveillance, police suddenly surround her and Detective Rutherford announces triumphantly that criminals always return to the scene of a crime.
But a cute boy, Shelby has never seen before, shouts at them to let her go. All eyes are on him as he and the detective stare silently at each other. Detective Rutherford yields and gruffly orders him to get his friend out of there.
Shelby learns his name is Matt Turner and, though somewhat suspicious of his motives, believes his explanation for doing what he did and accepts a ride home. As Matt helps Shelby alter her appearance by handing her his ball cap, her trust, as well as a romantic interest in him, begins to grow....out a wadded up baseball cap. “Here let me help get this thing on you.”This small scene from their first meeting is important to the plot and their relationship. Shelby likes him and he seems to like her, but he keeps asking questions and he doesn’t want anyone seeing them together. Shelby wonders if she should trust him, but she needs his help and brushes her concerns aside only to discover Matt’s secret and her decision to trust him was a huge mistake.
Shelby let him take her hair, twist it up on top of her head, then cover it with the cap. She put both hands on top of it and grinned. “What do you think?”
Matt tweaked her under the chin. “You could be my kid brother. Let’s go, bro.”
Just two seconds ago her tummy had fluttered because he said she was cute. Now he thought she could pass for a boy.
She stifled a snort.
“You sounded like you were choking.”
They didn’t say another word until they reached the sidewalk.
Up ahead officers were approaching, some with dogs. One officer stopped as they got closer. Shelby lowered her head, put her finger on the nosepiece of her glasses, and concentrated on the cracks in the concrete.
“Move over, Jimmy, and get out of their way.” Matt shoved Shelby’s shoulder, forcing her into the grass as they passed the officers. “Mom’s mad that you left without telling her. You are in big trouble.”
The officer strode past them without showing any more interest.
Shelby looked over her shoulder as they moved onto the sidewalk again. None of the officers turned around. They had already forgotten them. “You should be an actor.”
Matt smiled down at her. When they reached the parking lot he pointed. “It’s the black Jeep Wrangler with the top down.”
My Book, The Movie: Beyond Suspicion.