MacLean applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Joy of Killing, and reported the following:
From page 69:Visit Harry MacLean's website.A cold blast of air swept up from the river. The train jerked back, and then slipped forward, screeching and creaking, wobbling back and forth. I looked around for the girl, but she’d gone back inside. Given up on me, I thought, which was probably just as well. In those few moments I had felt the constraints of the involvement, the pressure in her eyes. Now I could ride with the Ghost Riders across the devil’s endless sky, hook back up with the train bandits in their hideout in a distant canyon. The train began to roll a little faster, and the lights of the little town on the far edge of the river grew brighter, and I wondered how many people in the houses there were eating or watching TV or sleeping. I wondered why I still felt nothing, despite the bitter wind. I stood there until the train was over the bridge and the clickety-clack sound returned to normal.Our middle-aged, slightly unstable narrator has slipped back into a memory of his train ride back from an eastern prep school when he was fourteen. An intimate encounter with a girl on the train has caused him to flee to the platform on the last car. He understands that the girl is the thread to unraveling the violent mysteries of his life, and because of this he is both drawn to and wary of her. As our narrator uncovers the story of that night on the train he comes to an understanding of the story of his life.
My Book, The Movie: The Joy of Killing.