Smiley applied the Page 69 Test to Pacific Homicide, the first book in her new series about LAPD homicide detective Davie Richards, and reported the following:
LAPD homicide detective Davie Richards knows that murderers lie, but she and her partner Jason Vaughn stand alone in the victim’s shoes protecting the woman’s interests against all others. On page 69 from Pacific Homicide, Davie is interviewing a suspect in her first murder investigation since transferring to the division.Visit Patricia Smiley's website.
Solving a murder is a complex puzzle. Davie doesn’t yet have sufficient evidence to arrest Andre Lucien. She must walk a fine line between interviewing a witness who has intimate knowledge of the victim versus harsher interrogation to get a confession from a suspect who is unwilling to give her any information. In this scene, Lucien seems cooperative and has even given his consent for her to search the apartment he shared with the victim. But as Davie knows, murderers also mask and manipulate.
At the top of the page, Davie has just completed her search and begins asking Lucien rapid-fire questions—disparate and out of order—about evidence she’s collected, not allowing him to think or plan his answers. Just as he takes a breath to regain his composure, her partner jumps in with more questions, hoping not only to keep him off balance but also to catch him in a lie.
Pacific Homicide explores issues of camaraderie, loyalty, and the emotional wounds that drive detectives to extraordinary lengths to give the victim a voice. Page 69 supports the premise and illustrates the relationship between two detectives working in concert to solve the case. Davie and Vaughn don’t always agree on interview techniques, but they’re a team with one goal: to sort truth from lies and bring a killer to justice.