Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"As Dog Is My Witness"

Jeffrey Cohen is the author of As Dog Is My Witness: Another Aaron Tucker Mystery.

He applied the "page 69 test" to his novel and reported the following:
I must admit, I'm a little embarrassed.

I can open As Dog Is My Witness to virtually any page other than 69, and find more to talk about. I don't know what the fascination with this particular page might be -- aside from the obvious pornographic reference -- but one can't quibble with page numbers. I guess.

At this point in the book, freelance writer/reluctant sleuth Aaron Tucker is trying to find evidence that a young man with Asperger Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) did not commit a random murder. He's also awaiting -- with less than total enthusiasm -- the arrival of his brother-in-law and family for a week's visit. Aaron gets along with his wife's brother like he would with the mad emperor Nero: he feels morally superior, and in every other way intimidated.

On page 69, Aaron spends most of his time talking to Lori Shery (a real person who let me use her as a character), who runs an Asperger's support group. Lori and Aaron know each other well, as Aaron's son Ethan has AS, and Lori has helped the family through tough times.

"I filled her in on my monumental lack of progress with Justin Fowler, and she, being Lori, expressed her concern that she'd asked me too big a favor."

Like I said, not exactly riveting, but there's some plot information that gets told there that could be important later on. I'd heartily recommend virtually any other page, like page 4, where Aaron talks about his attempts to sell a screenplay to a producer in Hollywood: "As producers go, Waterman wasn't a bad guy, which is like saying that the shark felt really bad about eating you, but hey, he was hungry and you were a mackerel."

Now, that's more like it!
Read the first chapter of As Dog Is My Witness.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Living With Darwin"

Philip Kitcher is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. An eminent philosopher, he is the author of many books on science, literature, and music, including Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism; The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities; Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Knowledge; Science, Truth, and Democracy; and In Mendel's Mirror.

His latest book is Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, to which he applied the "page 69 test" and then reported the following:
Page 69 of Living with Darwin is representative of the whole book in just one way: it finds me in argumentative mode. On this particular page, I’m taking Phillip Johnson, one of the luminaries of the Intelligent Design movement, to task for his misunderstandings of the fossil evidence for Darwinian evolution. Neither Johnson, nor even Intelligent Design, is really the principal focus of my book, although I do hope to show clearly what is wrong (and disingenuous) about this latest phase in the War against “Evil-ution.” Rather, my aim is to construct “one long argument” – Darwin’s accurate description of The Origin of Species – for the conclusion that Darwin is here to stay. The final phase of that “long argument” shows that living with Darwin has its costs, that, as the sincere and worried people who buy the wares of the Intelligent Design-ers understand, accepting Darwinism would raise severe problems for the most widespread versions of religion. Unlike other defenders of Darwin, however, I don’t think it’s just a matter of telling the previously faithful to brace up, read a few pages of the Origin, and they’ll feel better in the morning. Secular humanism needs to respond to the needs that have been served historically by the world’s religions. To learn to live with Darwin, we’ll have to put the humanity back into secular humanism.
Read an excerpt from Living with Darwin.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Monday, February 26, 2007

"Killer Elite"

Michael Smith writes on defense and security issues for the Sunday Times and New Statesman.

His books are about spies and special operations. The latest is Killer Elite The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team.

Michael applied the "page 69 test" to Killer Elite and reported the following:
Killer Elite tells the story of the Activity, a US special operations unit formed to fight the war on terror long before anyone thought to call it that. Page 69 is the first page of Chapter 4, entitled “Make the Ground Shake.” It describes the first Islamist terrorist attack on America, the day in April 1983 that the front of the US embassy in Beirut was sliced off in a bomb attack, exposing the interior like some gigantic doll’s house and killing 63 people. The events are described through the eyes of someone who was in the building at the time, as much his story as it is that of the bombing. A small team from the Activity was sent in to ensure no such attack happened again, reporting back that the US Marines barracks in the Lebanese capital was a major risk. Their warning was shelved. The chapter title is the order given by Tehran to its terrorists in Beirut six months later which led to a second bomb attack, this time killing 241 US Marines. As I write this the Pentagon has just claimed that Iran provided the technology for a series of bomb attacks on US military vehicles in Iraq. Whatever the truth, the terror continues and no-one seems capable of coming up with a solution that will do anything other than make matters worse.

Page 69 of Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team:


DUNDAS MCCULLOUGH was running a little late. The 25-year-old consular official from Berkeley, California, was talking to one of the Lebanese who regularly crowded into the visa section in the seven-storey US embassy in Beirut. It was lunchtime on Monday 18 April 1983. The Avenue de Paris, the palm-lined promenade separating the embassy from the Corniche, was busy with lunchtime strollers. McCullough was a stickler for routine and would normally be eating a sandwich at his desk at this time. For just a fraction of a second, the back of McCullough’s brain registered the sound of rolling thunder. There had been squalls earlier that day and he initially thought that this was just another thunderclap. Then he realised it wasn’t. There was a big flash of light, the room seemed to contort, first inwards and then outwards. He was knocked to the ground as a wall collapsed on top of him. The air was full of choking dust. “There was complete darkness,” he recalled. “I thought what might kill me, aside from the explosion, was suffocation. When the air cleared, there just wasn’t much left.” The whole of the front of the building had disappeared, including his office....
Read an excerpt from Killer Elite.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

"Dirt for Art's Sake"

Elisabeth Ladenson is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and author of, most recently, Dirt for Art's Sake: Books on Trial from Madame Bovary to Lolita.

She tried out the "page 69 test" on Dirt for Art's Sake and reported the following:
I kind of like the page 69 test, although I'm not convinced of its airtight efficacy in all cases. Page 69 of Dirt for Art's Sake is pretty representative as it discusses how the censorship of Flowers of Evil in 1857 just made Baudelaire get all the more Baudelairean in subsequent editions and in fact spend the rest of his life writing more and more disturbing poems to replace the ones that were removed by the court. The only way in which this is not representative is that most of the book is about English and American censorship cases. It begins and ends with French stuff (Flaubert, Baudelaire, the Marquis de Sade), but the bulk is anglophone: Joyce, Radclyffe Hall, Lawrence, Henry Miller, Nabokov.

And Fanny Hill, of course! And I also deal with films.

Also, p. 169 is actually better than p. 69.
Read the publisher's description and an excerpt from Dirt for Art's Sake.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

"It Can Happen Here"

Joe Conason writes for and has written a popular political column for The New York Observer since 1992. He is the author of Big Lies, The Raw Deal, and, with Gene Lyons, The Hunting of the President.

His new book, released last week, is It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush.

Joe applied the "page 69 test" to It Can Happen Here and reported the following:
On page 69 of It Can Happen Here, the immediate topic is John Ashcroft -- and in certain respects yes, these four or five paragraphs are indeed reflective of my new book's subject and style. The section on Ashcroft sets the former Attorney General's assault on the Constitution in a broader and deeper context, while dishing some fascinating facts about him that few readers are likely to know. (He sponsored no fewer than eleven -- that's right, 11 -- constitutional amendments during his brief tenure as a United States Senator, including one that would have made it easier to amend the Constitution. And he had his late father anoint him with holy oil, like the Hebrew kings, as part of a special ceremony to prepare him for public office. One evening when they couldn't find holy oil, they used a bottle of Crisco oil.)

Of course the story continues on toward the present, with Ashcroft giving way to Alberto Gonzales, and much more. As a glimpse into the threats that have endangered our liberty, and the authoritarian ideologies underlying those threats, page 69 wouldn't be a bad place to fall into the story -- except that you would have missed Chapter One, which explains why we may be on the brink of war with Iran....
Read a synopsis and an excerpt from It Can Happen Here.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

"The Soulful Science"

Diane Coyle is a writer and Harvard economics Ph.D. whose books include Sex, Drugs and Economics: An Unconventional Introduction to Economics and The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy.

Her new book is The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters.

Diane applied the "page 69 test" to The Soulful Science and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Soulful Science isn’t the one I’d choose to draw in the new reader. It starts with the thought-provoking fact that as a third of Brazilians are richer than the poorest French citizens, there’s a one in ten chance that official government aid from France to Brazil will make global income distribution more, not less, unequal. The rest of the page, though, is all about statistics, specifically how to measure and compare living standards in different countries. Moderately dull stuff, on the face of it. But it does illustrate one of the important reasons why economics has changed so much, and changed for the better, during the past generation: the availability of masses of data and the capability to assess the data thanks to computers, have dramatically changed what economists can and do know.

The point I make in the book is that advances in theory and evidence, more or less unknown outside the profession, have returned economics to its Enlightenment roots as the scientific study of human society. Economics has become imperialist: it offers a way of thinking about virtually any aspect of social behaviour. Its distinctiveness is its way of thinking, not its subject matter. The Soulful Science offers examples of economists’ work in subjects ranging from growth and economic development to the new economics of happiness, or‘behavioral’ economics which draws on psychological experiments to make markets work better or understand financial markets. My hope is that it will introduce readers to the power of the subject, and its capacity to improve public policy, and overturn the outdated stereotype that we economists reduce all of society to the profit motive.

Perhaps I can be allowed to quote from page 65, a little earlier in a chapter on tackling world poverty?

…There is plainly much controversy about the diagnosis of what’s wrong with the economies of poor countries. The issue of globalization has become a litmus test of ideological attitudes for many people, with a return among some on the left-of-center of straightforward anticapitalist, antimarket views, and a belief that the world economy is essentially colonial, involving the exploitation of the poor by the rich. At the other extreme is the belief that a return to imperialism would be a good thing for countries which have fared so badly under self-rule.... Among people of more moderate opinions there is still a division of perception between those who believe global capitalism has been essentially beneficial but needs it problems ironing out, and those who believe is has brought some selective benefits but has essentially operated against the interests of the poorest countries.

When the evidence available can be used in support of two opposing views of economic development, each held by well-intentioned and intelligent people, we are clearly not in the realm of hard science. This chapter … asks two related questions. What is the nature of the evidence available on the causes of poverty? And does economics today offer the basis for any professional consensus on diagnosis and policy prescriptions? To give you the headline, the answer is tentatively yes.

And I go on to explain what it is, albeit after half a dozen pages on the statistical indicators on poverty and growth. But I do promise that despite a few statistics and tables, the whole book is completely equation-free.
Read the introduction to The Soulful Science.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

"The Welsh Girl"

Peter Ho Davies is the author of two award-winning short story collections -- The Ugliest House in the World (1997) and Equal Love (2000) -- and a new novel, The Welsh Girl.

Peter applied the "page 69 test" to The Welsh Girl and reported the following:
The idea that a single page might represent a whole book is a once alarming and challenging to me. Alarming because it seems so reductive to ask one page to stand for the whole, but challenging, too, because of course I'd like to hope that every page counts towards that whole. McLuhan's idea also reminds me of a question about nationalism central to The Welsh Girl - to what extent can or should we as individuals (like single pages) be representatives of a nation or people (or a novel)?

My page 69 falls at the very end of Chapter 3, which introduces the third and last of the book's main characters, Karsten Simmering, a young German POW just captured during the D-Day landings, and stunned both by the battle he's been through but also by the sheer scale of the invasion.

"The enemy are so many, Karsten thinks, through the night and now the morning, still marching out of the sweeping surf. The prisoners drowse and wake and drowse and wake and no matter when they awake, no matter how many hours have passed, there is the enemy column moving up the beach. And offshore the smoke of countless ships; over head, hour after hour, the drone of planes. It's astonishing, Karsten thinks, a staggering sight, the kind of manpower that built the pyramids or the Great Wall, the wonders of the world."

The other two major figures in the book are Esther Evans, the Welsh girl of the title, and Rotheram, a German Jewish refugee working for British intelligence. It's sometime beyond this page that these three meet, but this point in the book, with all the main figures introduced, feels as if it marks the "end of the beginning" of the book (to borrow Churchill's famous phrase), even as each of the characters themselves are responding to the beginning of the end of the war, itself. And while page 69 only directly addresses one character Karsten like the other two in their different ways is starting to glimpse the turning tide of history here, and to wonder what his place in the new world will be, where - and indeed if - he'll belong.

He watches yet another landing craft disgorge its men, and follows them up the beach, past the stockade, towards the dunes and he feels an odd pull, a tug towards the horizon. All those men flowing in one direction. He yearns to look over the dunes, as if he has no idea, no recollection of what's there. It comes to him that he's behind enemy lines, but the shifting geography seems unreal to him, as if the earth has turned under his very feet. This was German territory, and now British but he can't see how it's changed. He pictures the maps he's seen, imagines the fields beyond the dunes tinged the faint dawning pink of empire. And he wishes suddenly he could follow that column of men, feels powerfully as if he's falling behind, he who could march faster and further than anyone.
Read, or listen to, an excerpt from The Welsh Girl.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Monkey Girl"

Edward Humes is the author nine critically-acclaimed books and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for specialized reporting. His latest book is Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul.

Ed applied the "page 69 test" to Monkey Girl and reported the following:
Monkey Girl is about America's long war over what we should teach our children -- and what we believe -- about where we come from. The story's primary focus is an epic federal trial in Pennsylvania that pitted evolution against an upstart alternative, intelligent design, which claims there is scientific evidence of a designing intelligence in our very cells. A school board in Dover, PA, introduced "ID" into its public high school curriculum; eleven parents sued, arguing that the new policy was religious, not scientific, breaching the constitutional wall separating church and state.

Page 69 of Monkey Girl describes a pivotal moment in the rise of the intelligent design movement, when its "godfather," Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, debated the renowned paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University in 1989. The late Gould told Johnson, "I'm going to destroy you. But it's not personal." The encounter is recalled from Johnson's point of view:

Excerpt of p. 69:

"I was nobody. I was just some law professor. He was the most prestigious Darwinist in the country at the time. He had plenty to lose."

The two attacked and parried for two hours, with each drawing blood as Johnson faulted Darwinists for drawing sweeping conclusions by extrapolating from very few data, then rigging the rules to keep out evidence of design. Gould accused Johnson of resurrecting old creationist arguments and mischaracterizing or misunderstanding a century's worth of accumulated evidence and observation that supported evolution at every turn. According to Johnson, when the heated match ended Gould was shaking with anger. The novice evolutionary critic judged the debate a draw. Gould would have the final word, however. When Darwin on Trial was published two years later, Gould wrote an early, savage review for the influential magazine Scientific American, panning everything from Johnson's scientific falsehoods to his failed logic to his "abysmal" writing style. "No wonder lawyer jokes are so popular in our culture," Gould quipped. Apparently, it was personal after all.

To Johnson and the rest of the growing coterie of intelligent design advocates, however, the debate had put them on the map -- the dangerous man had done his job.

"American Bloomsbury"

Susan Cheever is the bestselling author of twelve books, including five novels and the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark.

Her new book is American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work.

Susan applied the "page 69 test" to American Bloomsbury and reported the following:
Page 69 in American Bloomsbury focuses on Hawthorne -- one of five writers profiled in the book during the years between 1840 and 1870.

"Hawthorne was obviously very aware of the power of sex to ruin lives as it does in The Scarlet Letter, and he was also aware of its joys."

The men and women who lived, visited and wrote in Concord, Massachusetts in the years before the Civil War -- they included Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Margaret Fuller as well as Henry James, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Horace Mann -- were a genius cluster of writers and thinkers responsible for most of American literature and for many of the ideas which shape our world today. The critic F.O. Matthiesen once said that all of American literature was written in five years from 1850 to 1855, but what's even more astonishing is that most of it was written by men and women who lived in three houses at a crossroads in Concord, Massachusetts. What was it in that small town which engendered this explosion of creative energy and talent? In exploring this question I found answers -- I also found dozens of intriguing stories about the writers involved.

We often think of these writers as static daguerreotypes, Great Writers whose work was somehow created by a two dimensional 19th century muse, but in fact these men and women fell in and out of love with each other, edited and read each others work, talked about ideas all night and walked arm in arm under Concord's great elms. They were sometimes controlled by the power of sex and always haunted by what might have been. They were the first group of professional writers in America, many of them sober, and many vegetarians. Often called the Transcendentalists, they reinvented everything from the way we think about nature to our definition of God to the institution of marriage.
Read an excerpt from American Bloomsbury and peek at Susan Cheever's favorite books.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"The Collaborator of Bethlehem"

Matt Beynon Rees is the author of The Collaborator of Bethlehem, the first in a series about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef. Rees is an award-winning foreign correspondent and author of the nonfiction work Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East.

Matt applied the "page 69 test" to The Collaborator of Bethlehem and reported the following:
In this first of my Palestinian detective novels, Pg 69 turns out to be an argument over parking. As I've learned over almost 11 years in the Middle East, the Palestinians are the only people in the world for whom parking fails to appear on the list of life and death issues. Nonetheless, the conflict over where my hero Omar Yussef parks on Pg 69 is a vital turning point, which happens to represent his move from schoolteacher to amateur sleuth.

Omar drives -- badly -- to a village on the edge of Bethlehem to see the family of his former pupil, George Saba. George, a Christian, faces the death penalty for collaborating with Israel in the killing of a Palestinian fighter. As Omar makes his way to George's family, the reader is uncertain whether it's a friendly call or a first step into detective work.

When Omar parks his rattling old car, a young gunman demands he move it: "You can't park here. This area is reserved for my roadblock." The gunmen of the Martyrs Brigades rule Bethlehem by fear and the police refuse to stand up to them. But as a schoolteacher, Omar has already complained about the lack of respect young Palestinians show for their elders -- Omar's 56 years old -- and now he fights back:

Omar Yussef turned a full circle demonstratively in the street. "There's plenty of room," he said. "Even a tank could pass through, and I expect if the Israelis did drive a tank down here you wouldn't be around to stop them."

If he makes any trouble for him, Omar says, he'll call down the wrath of the youngster's boss: "I'm a detective and I'm conducting an investigation of importance to national security. Now keep an eye on my car or Hussein Tamari will have your head." He leaves the gunman kicking a stone in the gutter like a surly teenager in one of Omar's classrooms.

It's Omar's first step toward protecting the people he loves against the armed villains who lord it over their historic town.
Read more about the novel at Matt's website and his blog.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

"Corrections to My Memoirs"

Michael Kun's new book is Corrections to My Memoirs: Collected Stories.

Michael applied the "page 69 test" to Corrections to My Memoirs and reported the following:
Oh, boy.

Page 69, huh?

Imagine me closing my eyes and shaking my head right now, because that's what I'm doing. (Actually, I just opened my eyes to type this.)

Page 69 is part of a short piece called "Heaven Help Me" that appears in my new short story collection, Corrections to My Memoirs.

Only "Heaven Help Me" isn't a short story. It's actually an article I wrote for a men's magazine.

So now I have to explain why on earth I chose to include a non-fiction article in what is supposed to be a short story collection, and do it in a way that makes sense.

And it does make sense in the scheme of the book.

Trust me.

Oh, heck, why should you trust me? You don't even know me.

Okay, let me give this a shot.

I am a fan of short story collections. With a pretty hectic job and a baby girl at home, I enjoy the idea of being to be able to read an entire story before I go to sleep. Nothing profound there.

While I was pleased with the idea of finally publishing all of my short stories in one place, the idea left me a little unsatisfied. I didn't just want to throw together all of my short stories that have been published in various magazines over the past 20 years or so. That seemed too easy, and I'm afraid that some psychological irregularity frequently makes me avoid the easy route. Beyond that, unlike other short story writers, including many I revere, I know my stories do not necessarily fit together cohesively. The styles and tones of the stories vary wildly, often depending on when I wrote them. (The stories from my twenties tended to be a little silly. The ones from my thirties tended to be more pensive and sentimental. The stories from my forties have been something of a mixed bag and, for some reason, often involve cake. Don't ask.)

So, as I've tried to do with my other books, particularly You Poor Monster where the main text of the novel is dissected through a parallel story told in the endnotes, I wanted to try to do something unusual. I decided to use the book to comment on short story collections, on writers and on writing, and also on how we all measure our lives. I came up with the idea of tying the stories together with a series of "publisher's notes" that would be placed between the stories, commenting on the stories and on the "author" as the unrelated stories unfold, with those notes slowly revealing the frustration the publisher experiences with the author's poor sales and his petulance, and with the author revealing his insecurities and self-loathing by eventually admitting that he's writing the "publisher's notes" himself, even the ones that insult him.

That said, the non-fiction piece "Heaven Help Me" -- which I believe is an entertaining piece in which the "author" provides advice to younger readers so that they do not waste his life as he did -- is something of a turning point in the book. Inserting that piece was intended to have the "author" speak directly to the reader and break down the barrier that exists between them so that the reader will hopefully feel that he in fact is being let into the "author's" world through this book, which may make some of the revelations in the "publisher's notes" at the end more startling and affecting. Also, it allows the "publisher" to start revealing its frustration with its troubled, poor-selling "author," starting with how he stuck a non-fiction piece in the collection. In this way, the piece hopefully works on three levels.

You'll have to let me know if you agree.

Please be kind if you don't.

And feel free to send me some cake.
Read an excerpt from Corrections to My Memoirs.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Homicide 69"

Sam Reaves is the author of nine novels, five as Sam Reaves and three as Dominic Martell. Homicide 69 is the most recent.

Sam applied the "page 69 test" to Homicide 69 and reported the following:
This is too good to be true, I thought. The “page 69 test” for a novel called Homicide 69? Perfect. Coincidence, of course, but a happy one.

The next thing I thought was that this puts a hell of a lot of pressure on a single page. In a 500-page novel it’s hard to make every one a polished gem. So I turned to page 69 of Homicide 69 to see how I did.

The reader will have to judge that. But I was pleased to see that at least one of the themes of the novel is on display here.

Background: The book takes place in the summer of 1969, whence the title. It is at least superficially a police procedural, though I hope readers will see that it’s more than that. The crime is an apparent sex killing, which upon further examination appears to be connected to intrigue at the heart of the Outfit, the crime syndicate which was still deeply rooted in Chicago politics in the late sixties. The man doing the further examining is a homicide detective named Michael Dooley.

Dooley is that allegedly rare species in the old, notoriously corrupt Chicago PD: an honest cop. The tension between Dooley’s awareness of his department’s failings and his dedication to catching killers is a major dramatic element in the novel.

On page 69, Dooley is questioning an associate of a gambler who has fled the country to escape Outfit debt collectors; he believes the gambler may be connected to the murder. The associate is being obtuse, and Dooley needs to focus the man’s attention:

Dooley could see he had a slow learner on his hands. “Look, Nick. You weren’t paying attention when I introduced myself, were you? I’m not a vice cop. I don’t give a damn about your gambling.”

The butcher looked at Dooley. “What are you then?”

“I’m a homicide cop. You know what that means?”

Starting to sound shocked, the butcher said, “Who got killed?”

Dooley has little use for the corruption-ridden Vice squad; for him the true mission of the police, the only one that justifies the toll the job takes on a man, is protecting people from predators, and the worst predator of all is the one who kills. That sense of mission makes him a lonely man sometimes, but it will sustain him through the tumultuous summer of 1969 with all its threats to him, his family and his integrity.
Read an excerpt from Homicide 69.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


David Ebershoff is the author of the short story collection, The Rose City, and two bestselling novels, Pasadena and The Danish Girl.

David applied the "page 69 test" to Pasadena and reported the following:
I finished editing Pasadena in early 2002. Although I’ve read pieces of it since – typically the Prologue and Chapter 1 – I doubt I’ve looked at p. 69 since I signed off on the first-pass pages and sent them to the compositor nearly five years ago. So now, opening up the book, I had no idea what I’d find there. How far into the story had I taken my characters? Was this page a tiresome digression I wished now I could cut? Well, look at this: oddly, cosmically, p. 69 represents the novel’s dynamics as well as any could. Here we have the strange love triangle that will determine all that is to come: Linda, her brother Edmund, and the sullen stranger, Bruder, who somehow emerged from the battlefields of World War I and ended up on this remote California farm, Condor’s Nest. And here we have the early frisson between Linda and Bruder, the muffled desire, the affection, the teasing, the envy, even the hatred. These two are doomed to love and hate each other, and on p. 69 the reader and I can see it begin to play out in their hearts.
Read an excerpt from Pasadena.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

The Page 69 Test series

UPDATED: 1/31/2011

Trent Jamieson, Managing Death
Kevin Fenton, Merit Badges
Steve Hockensmith, World's Greatest Sleuth!
Milton Burton, Nights of the Red Moon
Thelma Adams, Playdate
Caroline Leavitt, Pictures of You
Susan Henderson, Up From the Blue
Leona Wisoker, Secrets of the Sands
Wendy Clinch, Fade to White
Caroline Adderson, The Sky Is Falling
Matthew Gallaway, The Metropolis Case
Karen Dionne, Boiling Point
Jon Talton, South Phoenix Rules
Susan Fraser King, Queen Hereafter
Libby Fischer Hellmann, Set the Night on Fire
Jeffrey Siger, Prey on Patmos

--Marshal Zeringue

"Every Fear"

After five novels in his acclaimed Reed-Sydowski series, Rick Mofina started another series in 2005. The Dying Hour was the first novel featuring Jason Wade, a rookie crime reporter based in Seattle.

Every Fear is the second installment in the Jason Wade series.

Rick applied the "page 69 test" to his novel and reported the following:
On page 69 of my book, Every Fear, tow truck driver Lee Colson is grappling with a nightmare. A few hours earlier, his infant son, Dylan, was stolen from Lee's wife, Maria by strangers in a brazen lightning-quick abduction outside a corner store in their quiet Seattle neighborhood. The incident left Maria clinging to life in the hospital. The FBI and Seattle homicide detectives are in Lee's home reviewing security video with him.

The action, like much of the novel, is intense.

"The scenes flitted before him on the big screen.

Maria's sneakers as she rushed from the store to climb onto the van. The van lurched. The upper part of the screen blurred and Maria's head smashed to the street.

His insides twisted. The saliva in his mouth evaporated. His wife was dying in the street and he was unable to do anything about it.

Dylan's stroller toppled, its wheels spun in a final chorus to the destruction of his world.

The last images of his wife and son."

I believe page 69 is representative of my novel. Every Fear is the second book in my series featuring Seattle crime reporter, Jason Wade. Jason debuted in The Dying Hour, which the International Thriller Writers selected as a finalist for a 2006 thriller award.

In Every Fear, Jason Wade launches a journalistic investigation of a case that parallels a police investigation. At the same time he must confront his own personal demons. He comes from a broken home, his alcoholic dad is a former cop with a troubling past that he refuses to discuss. Jason is a truth-seeker, his quest is to find the answers that will restore order to the chaos.

As a former crime reporter, I draw on my own experiences for my thrillers. Jason Wade, like Tom Reed, the San Francisco crime reporter in my earlier series, is my lead character. But I tell my stories from the perspectives of several characters, always bearing in mind that story and character must fuel each other.

As a crime reporter, I’ve found that you step into a person's life at the most dramatic time; and with a clock ticking down on your deadline. Your job is to distill the critical facts for your story, yet as a writer you never fail to absorb the heart-wrenching details that help you make sense of and define what is at stake and what is playing out. The way the detective touches the casket of a murder victim and makes a personal vow to find the killer, the way a young widow wraps herself in her slain husband’s work shirt to feel his arms around her. The way a mother cradles the last photograph taken of her missing daughter, as if it were the most fragile thing in the world. Those details help you illustrate a richer, humane portrait that becomes part of the fabric of the story.

This is what I attempt to do in Every Fear and all of my forthcoming third book in the series, A Perfect Grave.
Read an excerpt from Every Fear.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

"The Power of Nice"

Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval have not only built The Kaplan Thaler Group, one of the nation's fastest-growing advertising agencies, but also published two books. Their latest: The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness.

The Kaplan Thaler team applied the "page 69 test" to their book and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Power of Nice highlights an interesting transition in our book. Up until this point, we had mostly been discussing how easy it is to be nice — how even a small offering like a cupcake or a compliment can yield huge dividends in the long run.

But on page 69, we discuss a time when it was actually very difficult for us to be nice. One of our employees had a very bad temper and frequently offended co-workers and clients. We were forced to sit him down and tell him the painful truth: His anger problem was the reason he’d been fired from every job he’d had and, if he didn’t enroll in an anger-management course, was the reason he’d be fired from this one, too.

It was a very tense moment, and frankly we didn’t feel very nice when we were saying this. But this is one of the primary misunderstandings about niceness, and a central theme of our book. Doing the nice thing does not mean shying away from conflict and keeping all feathers unruffled. It would have been easier — and on the surface seem nicer — to keep our lips zipped about our problems with his behavior. We could have even exuded a lot of fake, surface charm when we fired him — telling him it wasn’t his fault, that it was just a budgetary thing, etc.

But this wouldn’t have been nice—it would have been wimpy, and kind of dishonest. The truth was that unless we had this difficult conversation, our employee would never get the chance to correct his behavior. The fact that we request that he enroll himself in an anger-management course was the key to making this a nice exchange. We didn’t just criticize; we gave him a roadmap to the solution. This is a theme we expanded on in a later chapter called, “Yes, Your Way to the Top.” As the meeting adjourned, the final word was not “No, we don’t like your behavior” but “Yes, we want to work with you.”

Today, our colleague has made great strides in dealing with his anger, and continues to be a very loyal and valuable member of our team.
Read an excerpt from The Power of Nice.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Jesse Kellerman's first novel, Sunstroke, earned praise from the likes of Harlan Coben ("a thriller that delivers") and Sue Grafton ("a masterly debut!").

Now he's out with a new book, Trouble.

Jesse applied the "page 69 test" to his novel and reported the following, starting with the text from page 69:
…and the state of the patient’s rectal vault, which he imagined as bolted down with a mammoth brown padlock. The documents are in the rectal vault, 007, set to self-destruct. Guaiac before it’s too late.

The medical student’s real job during rounds, however, was to carry the Bucket, a turquoise emesis basin filled with gauze, dressing, scissors, syringes, gloves. Tegaderm patches in three sizes; if the resident called for a medium, and all you had was small and large, the world screeched to a halt as you sprinted to the supply closet. Lots and lots of Surgilube. Especially on colorectal. Yokogawa would stick out his glove. Lube me, Superman. Jonah felt like a hot dog salesman.

He felt lucky if he had time to wolf down a granola bar while jogging to the OR. Often not, which left him standing, unfed, through eight or ten hours’ worth of colecystectomies, rectal polyp removals, appendectomies. He snipped and sutured and suctioned and retracted. Up to his elbows in ligature, he learned, first, the two-handed knot; then the one-handed knot; and then spent a whole surgery woozily considering the philosophical implications of a no-handed knot.

On colon resections he wielded the staple gun, a device that looked like an early-80s rendition of “futuristic weapon.” Preparing to fire it would say in its creepy electronic voice. The attending would nod, and Jonah would pull the trigger.


And lo, the Bowel was One.

He met a lot of surgeons. There was Kurt Bourbon, who came in twice a week to work in eighteen-hour blocks, a schedule that freed up Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the pursuit of extramarital affairs. There was “Phat” Albert Zakarias, the Hip Hop Doctor, who liked to operate while hollering along to “Real Niggaz Don’t Die.” There was Elliot Steinberger, who — though lanky, balding, and potbellied — had clearly once strutted Lothario, his yearning for the bygone manifest in long rants about how unbearably hot he found his daughter’s friends. They were thirteen. Was that wrong?

Although page 69 of my novel, Trouble, doesn’t directly bear on the plot, in a way it’s far more revealing, as it touches upon one of the book’s central themes: the gruesome process of American medical education. The book was in large part inspired by watching my wife endure the first two years of medical school. I found it peculiar that a system purporting to train in the art of compassionate healing is itself rigid, impersonal, cruel, and stressful.

At no point is that truer than during the medical student’s third year, when she begins to work on the wards, and rapidly finds herself the lowest person on the totem pole. I’d go so far as to say that she’s not really even on the totem pole: she’s the part of the totem pole stuck in the ground, invisible and suffocated, under the thumb of everyone from megalomaniacal surgeons to bitter, dumped-on nurses who are glad to have someone less important around.

Most books, movies, and TV shows about medicine focus on the experience of doctors or residents: ER, for example, or Samuel Shem’s classic memoir The House of God. Almost nothing has been written from the perspective of a third-year. To me, though, that’s the story most worth telling, because it’s the experience that non-doctors can most easily relate to. The third-year is thrown into a blurry, disgusting, hectic, and terrifying world, with only the barest minimum of knowledge or preparation. In chapter seven of the book — which includes page 69 — I tried to give a sense of how disorienting that can be, and how it might render a person vulnerable to making extremely, extremely bad decisions….

[insert ominous noise of your choice]
Read an excerpt from Trouble.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Series.

The Page 69 Test series, 2009 & 2010

UPDATED: 1/31/11

Walter Greatshell, Mad Skills
Kathleen Hill, Who Occupies This House
Ruth Downie, Caveat Emptor
Ann Littlewood, Did Not Survive
Keith Hollihan, The Four Stages of Cruelty
Juliet Marillier, Seer of Sevenwaters
Michelle Gagnon, Kidnap & Ransom
Gerry Bartlett, Real Vampires Have More to Love
H. Terrell Griffin, Bitter Legacy
Brent Weeks, The Black Prism
Susanne Alleyn, Palace of Justice
Freda Warrington, Midsummer Night
Mary Helen Stefaniak, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia
Leighton Gage, Every Bitter Thing
Matt Burgess, Dogfight, A Love Story
Beth Bernobich, Passion Play
Don Bruns' Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
David Wellington, Overwinter
Gary Corby, The Pericles Commission
Julie Metz, Perfection
L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Empress of Eternity
Jeri Westerson, The Demon's Parchment
Rachel Aaron, The Spirit Thief
Charles Elton, Mr. Toppit
Elliott Sawyer, The Severance
Ken Harmon, The Fat Man
Roberta Gately, Lipstick in Afghanistan
Katia Lief, Next Time You See Me
Debra Ginsberg, The Neighbors Are Watching
Sheldon Russell, The Insane Train
Miles Corwin, Kind of Blue
David J. Walker, Too Many Clients
Ann Cleeves, Blue Lightning
Kathyrn Casey, The Killing Storm
Mary Anna Evans, Strangers
Bruce DeSilva, Rogue Island
Paul Grossman, The Sleepwalkers
Henry Perez, Mourn the Living
Todd Ritter, Death Notice
Michael Gregorio, Unholy Awakening
Wilson, Strand, Kilborn, and Crouch, Draculas
John Lutz, Mister X
Tracy Kiely, Murder on the Bride’s Side
Reed Farrel Coleman, Innocent Monster
Joseph Skibell, A Curable Romantic
Patricia Gussin, And Then There Was One
Laurel Corona, Penelope's Daughter
Betsy Thornton, Dream Queen
Gail Bowen, The Nesting Dolls
Rose Melikan, The Mistaken Wife
Trish J. MacGregor, Esperanza
Charles Kipps, Crystal Death
Anna Elliott, Dark Moon of Avalon
Justin Peacock, Blind Man’s Alley
Ken Scholes, Antiphon
Joan Frances Turner, Dust
Mike Shevdon, Sixty-One Nails
Zoë Ferraris, City of Veils
James R. Benn, Rag and Bone
Katrina Kittle, The Blessings of the Animals
Tony O'Neill, Sick City
Darin Bradley, Noise
Katie Hickman, The Pindar Diamond
Lisa Black, Trail of Blood
Ellen Bryson, The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
Bryan Gruley, The Hanging Tree
Laura Lippman, I'd Know You Anywhere
Karen Essex, Dracula in Love
Mark Mustian, The Gendarme
Gerald Elias, Danse Macabre
Matt Hilton, Judgment and Wrath
Bill Crider, Murder in the Air
Susanna Daniel, Stiltsville
Jenny Nelson, Georgia’s Kitchen
Justin Peacock, A Cure for Night
Kristina Riggle, The Life You've Imagined
Laurie Frankel, The Atlas of Love
Chris Ewan, The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas
Carrie Vaughn, Discord's Apple
Matthew Dicks, Unexpectedly, Milo
Daniella Brodsky, Vivian Rising
Sharon Pomerantz, Rich Boy
Keir Graff, The Price of Liberty
Elizabeth J. Duncan, A Brush with Death
Simon Lelic, A Thousand Cuts
Tom Hinshelwood, The Killer
Samrat Upadhyay, Buddha’s Orphans
Joan Leegant, Wherever You Go
Alden Bell, The Reapers Are the Angels
Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall
Jodi Compton, Hailey’s War
Nancy Thayer, Beachcombers
Josie Brown, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives
Lauren Belfer, A Fierce Radiance
Janni Lee Simner, Thief Eyes
Gregg Hurwitz, They're Watching
Blake Crouch, Snowbound
Joanne Lessner, Pandora's Bottle
Meg Gardiner The Liar’s Lullaby
Susan Hasler, Intelligence
Julian Cole, The Amateur Historian
Lynne Griffin, Sea Escape
Joshilyn Jackson, Backseat Saints
Carola Dunn, A Colourful Death
Dana Haynes, Crashers
Reece Hirsch, The Insider
Santa Montefiore, The Perfect Happiness
Gayle Brandeis, Delta Girls
Heather Sharfeddin, Sweetwater Burning
Nic Pizzolatto, Galveston
David Moody, Dog Blood
Stephen Parrish, The Tavernier Stones
Emily Winslow, The Whole World
Paul Doiron, The Poacher’s Son
Sophie Littlefield, A Bad Day for Pretty
Lynn Kiele Bonasia, Summer Shift
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Art of Devotion
Nicola Monaghan, Starfishing
Heidi Jon Schmidt, The House on Oyster Creek
Martha McPhee, Dear Money
Robin Oliveria, My Name Is Mary Sutter
Barbara Fister, Through the Cracks
Craig Johnson, Junkyard Dogs
Sally Gunning, The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
Susan Coll, Beach Week
David Hewson, City of Fear
Doug Magee, Never Wave Goodbye
Michael Koryta, So Cold the River
Jassy Mackenzie, Random Violence
Barbara Levenson, Justice in June
Deborah Schupack, Sylvan Street
Christopher Farnsworth, Blood Oath
Robert Dugoni, Bodily Harm
Jane Lindskold, Five Odd Honors
Stefanie Pintoff, A Curtain Falls
William Martin, City of Dreams
Kate Rockland, Falling Is Like This
Ryan Brown, Play Dead
Dani and Eytan Kollin, The Unincorporated War
Richard Hawke, House of Secrets
Emily St. John Mandel, The Singer’s Gun
Jeremy Robinson, Instinct
Ilie Ruby, The Language of Trees
Scott Prett, Injustice for All
Daniëlle Hermans, The Tulip Virus
Teddy Wayne, Kapitoil
Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson, Mississippi Vivian
Ilana Stanger-Ross, Sima's Undergarments for Women
Michael Harvey, The Third Rail
Keith Lee Morris, Call It What You Want
Thomas Perry, Strip
Douglas Corleone, One Man's Paradise
Diane Hammond, Seeing Stars
Irene Fleming, The Edge of Ruin
Sam Munson, The November Criminals
Ellen Horan, 31 Bond Street
Michele Young-Stone, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors
Michael Stevens, Fortuna
James Thompson, Snow Angels
Junius Podrug, Feathered Serpent 2012
Deanna Fei, A Thread of Sky
Robert J. Sawyer, WWW: Watch
Fernanda Eberstadt, Rat
Michael White, Beautiful Assassin
Vanora Bennett, The Queen's Lover
Stephanie Cowell, Claude & Camille
Ed Lin, Snakes Can't Run
Craig Nova, The Informer
Carol McCleary, The Alchemy of Murder
Gail Carriger, Changeless
Alafair Burke, 212
Norman Spinrad, He Walked Among Us
Edward M. Lerner, InterstellarNet: Origins
Deborah Grabien, Dark's Tale
Sonya Bateman, Master of None
Steve Englehart, The Long Man
Indu Sundaresan, Shadow Princess
Mark Terry, The Fallen
Wendy Webb, The Tale of Halcyon Crane
Thomas E. Kennedy, In the Company of Angels
Don Dahler, Water Hazard
James Hynes, Next
Tom Lowe, The 24th Letter
Keith Thomson, Once A Spy
David Gordon, The Serialist
Liane Merciel, The River Kings' Road
Michael Jaime-Becerra, This Time Tomorrow
Alice Lichtenstein, Lost
Malena Watrous, If You Follow Me
Adam Haslett, Union Atlantic
Nancy Martin, Our Lady of Immaculate Deception
Howard Frank Mosher, Walking to Gatlinburg
Waleter Greatshell, Xombies: Apocalypticon
Thomas Kaufman, Drink the Tea
Mario Acevedo, Werewolf Smackdown
Wallace Stroby, Gone 'til November
Stephen Deas, The Adamantine Palace
Paula Reed, Hester: The Missing Years of The Scarlet Letter
Leslie Jamison, The Gin Closet
JT Ellison, The Cold Room
Craig McDonald, Print the Legend
Claire Seeber, Lullaby
Kristina Springer, The Espressologist
John McFetridge, Let It Ride
Heidi W. Durrow, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Joanna Smith Rakoff, A Fortunate Age
Paul Tremblay, No Sleep till Wonderland
Justin Taylor, Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever
Michael Shea, The Extra
Mark Greaney, The Gray Man
Roger Smith, Wake Up Dead
Elly Griffiths, The Crossing Places
Randy Susan Meyers, The Murderer’s Daughters
Mary Jane Maffini, Law & Disorder
Steven M. Forman, Boca Mournings
Leila Meacham, Roses
Lenny Bartulin, Death by the Book
Blaize Clement, Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs
Julie Compton, Rescuing Olivia
Matt Beynon Rees, The Fourth Assassin
J. Sydney Jones, Requiem in Vienna
Kelli Stanley, City of Dragons
Leslie Larson, Breaking Out of Bedlam
Amy Greene, Bloodroot
Leighton Gage, Dying Gasp
John Burdett, The Godfather of Kathmandu
Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been
Ali Shaw, The Girl with Glass Feet
Joseph G. Peterson, Beautiful Piece
Jeffrey Siger, Murder in Mykonos
Laura Bynum, Veracity
Paul Adam, Paganini’s Ghost
Lou Berney, Gutshot Straight
David Sheman and Dan Cragg, Starfist: Double Jeopardy
Wendy Clinch, Double Black
Courtney Summers, Some Girls Are
Katharine Weber, True Confections
David Anthony Durham, The Other Lands
M. R. Hall, The Disappeared
Mary E. Mitchell, Americans in Space
Jesse Bullington, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
James Hime, Where Armadillos Go to Die
Martin Edwards, Dancing for the Hangman
David Oppegaard, Wormwood, Nevada
Lilith Saintcrow, Flesh Circus
Russel D. McLean, The Good Son
Jeff Carlson, Plague Zone
Lou Manfredo, Rizzo's War
Brad Parks, Faces of the Gone
Michelle Wildgen, But Not For Long
Zachary Lazar, Evening’s Empire
Morgan Howell, Candle in the Storm
Charles Cumming, Typhoon
India Edghill, Delilah
Brian Keaney,The Hollow People
Mark Coggins, The Big Wake-Up
Joel Shepherd, Sasha
Roy Chaney, The Ragged End of Nowhere
Tony Richards, Night of Demons
Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood
Emily Arsenault, The Broken Teaglass
Alex Bledsoe, Burn Me Deadly
Eric Stone, Shanghaied
Lauren Grodstein, A Friend of the Family
James Magruder, Sugarless
Zoë Klein, Drawing in the Dust
Dave Zeltserman, Pariah
Therese Walsh, The Last Will of Moira Leahy
Don Bruns, Stuff to Spy For
H. Terrell Griffin, Wyatt’s Revenge
Karen Maitland, The Owl Killers
Junius Podrug, The Shroud
Derek Nikitas, The Long Division
Donna VanLiere, Finding Grace
Charles Kipps, Hell's Kitchen Homicide
Donna VanLiere, The Christmas Secret
Yona Zeldis McDonough, Breaking the Bank
Gina Buonaguro & Janice Kirk, Ciao Bella
Nancy Mauro, New World Monkeys
Sophie Hannah, The Wrong Mother
Laura Anne Gilman, Flesh and Fire
Mary Guterson, Gone to the Dogs
Mark Arsenault, Loot the Moon
Elizabeth Zelvin, Death Will Help You Leave Him
Collin Kelley, Conquering Venus
Rick Mofina, Vengeance Road
Charles R. Cross, Led Zeppelin
Joshue Gaylord, Hummingbirds
Jeri Westerson, Serpent in the Thorns
Libby Fischer Hellmann, Doubleback
Evie Wyld, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice
Patricia Gussin, The Test
Lisa Patton, Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter
Sharon Fiffer, Scary Stuff
Norb Vonnegut's Top Producer
Ivy Pochoda, The Art of Disappearing
James R. Benn, Evil for Evil
Louise Penny, The Brutal Telling
Victor Lodato, Mathilda Savitch
Michelle Huneven, Blame
Paul LaRosa & Maria Cramer, Seven Days of Rage
Stephen Jay Schwartz, Boulevard
Chritsina Baker Kline, Bird in Hand
Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman, Tower
E. Van Lowe, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie
Victor Gischler, Vampire a Go-Go
Claire Zulkey, An Off Year
Michiel Heyns, The Children’s Day
Russell Atwood, Losers Live Longer
Lisa Black, Evidence of Murder
Chelsea Cain, Evil at Heart
Tracy Kiely, Murder at Longbourn
Deborah Grabien, While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Sheldon Russell, The Yard Dog
Karen Miller, The Prodigal Mage
Lucinda Rosenfeld, I'm So Happy for You
Steven M. Thomas, Criminal Karma
Dan Waddell, Blood Atonement
P. D. Martin, Fan Mail
Freda Warrington, Elfland
Amber Kizer, Meridian
Sarah McCoy, The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico
H.R.F. Keating, Inspector Ghote’s First Case
Laura Wiess, How It Ends
Gerald Elias, Devil's Trill
Brian DeLeeuw, In This Way I Was Saved
Victor LaValle, Big Machine
Lev Grossman, The Magicians
Sheila Lowe, Dead Write
Joe Abercrombie, Best Served Cold
Timothy Hallinan, Breathing Water
Sophie Littlefield, A Bad Day for Sorry
Steve Hockensmith, The Crack in the Lens
Nic Brown, Floodmarkers
Susanne Alleyn, The Cavalier of the Apocalypse
Carleen Brice, Children of the Waters
Craig Johnson, The Dark Horse
Erick Setiawan, Of Bees and Mist
Bryan Gruley, Starvation Lake
Kwei Quartey, Wife of the Gods
Jeff Abbott, Trust Me
Laura Moriarty, While I'm Falling
Teri Coyne, The Last Bridge
Mary Jane Clark, Dying for Mercy
Brett Battles, Shadow of Betrayal
Michael Robertson, The Baker Street Letters
Maile Meloy, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
Charlotte Greig, A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy
Samantha Wilde, This Little Mommy Stayed Home
Mary Anna Evans, Floodgates
Tess Callahan, April & Oliver
Hyatt Bass, The Embers
Blake Crouch, Abandon
Richard Lange, This Wicked World
Nancy Thayer, Summer House
J. C. Hutchins, Personal Effects
J. Courtney Sullivan, Commencement
Sheila Curran, Everyone She Loved
Anna David, Bought
Jill Ciment, Heroic Measures
Ewan Morrison, Ménage
Megan Abbott, Bury Me Deep
Meg Gardiner, The Memory Collector
Jennifer McMahon, Dismantled
Karen E. Olson, The Missing Ink
Caleb Fox, Zadayi Red
Ron Currie, Jr., Everything Matters!
Emily St. John Mandel, Last Night in Montreal
Julia Gregson, East of the Sun
Isla Morley, Come Sunday
Heather Barbieri, The Lace Makers of Glenmara
James Hayman, The Cutting
Binnie Kirshenbaum, The Scenic Route
Gregg Hurwitz, Trust No One
Bridget Asher, The Pretend Wife
Scott Lasser, The Year That Follows
Linda Castillo, Sworn to Silence
Attica Locke, Black Water Rising
Robert Dugoni, Wrongful Death
Tom Gabbay, The Tehran Conviction
Anthony Neil Smith, Hogdoggin’
Kristina Riggle, Real Life & Liars
Shilpa Agarwal, Haunting Bombay
Shirley Wells, Where Petals Fall
Elinor Lipman, The Family Man
Tania James, Atlas of Unknowns
Sandra Dallas, Prayers For Sale
Marcia Willett, The Way We Were
Jim Krusoe, Erased
David J. Williams, The Burning Skies
Ana Menéndez, The Last War
Matt Hilton, Dead Men’s Dust
Mary Beth Keane, The Walking People
Ladette Randolph, A Sandhills Ballad
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, The Crimes of Paris
Jean Hanff Korelitz, Admission
K.J. Egan, Where It Lies
Brian D'Amato, In the Courts of the Sun
Elizabeth J. Duncan, The Cold Light of Mourning
Kamran Pasha, Mother of the Believers
David Cristofano, The Girl She Used to Be
Clancy Martin, How to Sell
Matthew Aaron Goodman, Hold Love Strong
Philip Baruth, The Brothers Boswell
Jamie Freveletti, Running from the Devil
Rebecca Cantrell, A Trace of Smoke
Simon Read, War of Words
Will North, Water, Stone, Heart
John Pipkin, Woodsburner
Will Elliott, The Pilo Family Circus
Shawna Yang Ryan, Water Ghosts
Bill Scheft, Everything Hurts
Margaret Leroy, Yes, My Darling Daughter
Nicole Helget, The Turtle Catcher
Adrian McKinty, Fifty Grand
Jody Lynn Nye, A Forthcoming Wizard
Jeffrey Rotter, The Unknown Knowns
Dennis Tafoya, Dope Thief
Vanora Bennett, Figures in Silk
Walter Boyne, Hypersonic Thunder
Carola Dunn, Manna from Hades
Stefanie Pintoff, In the Shadow of Gotham
J. Robert Lennon, Castle
Laila Lalami, Secret Son
David Rollins, A Knife Edge
S.G. Browne, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
Gayle Forman, If I Stay
Linda Olsson, Sonata for Miriam
Peter Rock, My Abandonment
Sung J. Woo, Everything Asian
Michael Gregorio, A Visible Darkness
Louise Ure, Liars Anonymous
Richard Taylor, Red Mist
Robert J. Sawyer, WWW: Wake
Miriam Gershow, The Local News
Peter V. Brett, The Warded Man
Ken Scholes, Lamentation
Tom Bale, Skin and Bones
David Plotz, Good Book
Janet Burroway, Bridge of Sand
Kelley Armstrong, Made to be Broken
Christian Moerk, Darling Jim
Laura Lippman, Life Sentences
Jason Goodwin, The Bellini Card
Philipp Meyer, American Rust
Paul Tremblay, The Little Sleep
Peter Schechter, Pipeline
Jack Kilborn, Afraid
Judith R. Hendricks, The Laws of Harmony
Michael Walters, The Adversary
Andrew Taylor, Bleeding Heart Square
Robert Ellis, The Lost Witness
Eilenn Carr, Hold Back the Dark
Richard K. Morgan, The Steel Remains
Roger Smith, Mixed Blood
Meredith Cole, Posed for Murder
Marisha Chamberlain, The Rose Variations
Patrick Somerville, The Cradle
Jedediah Berry, The Manual of Detection
Valerie Laken, Dream House
Sean Doolittle, Safer
Sandra Novack, Precious
Robert Masello, Blood and Ice
Chris Marie Green, A Drop of Red
Danny Scheinmann, Random Acts of Heroic Love
Andrew Gottlieb, Drink, Play, F@#k
Spencer Quinn, Dog On It
José Latour, Crime of Fashion
David Moody, Hater
Deborah Turrell Atkinson, Pleasing the Dead
Steven M. Forman, Boca Knights
Tiffany Baker, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Paul Harding, Tinkers
Toni Jordan, Addition
Paul Malmont, Jack London in Paradise
Bill Crider, Murder in Four Parts
Matt Beynon Rees, The Samaritan's Secret
Linda L. Richards, Death Was in the Picture
Daphne Uviller, Super in the City
Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots
Alison Goodman, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
Gwendolyn Zepeda, Houston, We Have a Problema
Sarah Ash, Flight Into Darkness
Jennifer Rardin, One More Bite
J. Sydney Jones , The Empty Mirror
Padma Viswanathan, The Toss of a Lemon
Janice Y. K. Lee , The Piano Teacher
Elissa Elliott, Eve: A Novel of the First Woman
Sarah Graves, A Face at the Window
Suzy McKee Charnas, The Vampire Tapestry
David Fulmer, Lost River
Michael Shilling, Rock Bottom
David Francis, Stray Dog Winter
Nina Killham, Believe Me
Rick Mofina, Six Seconds
Erica Bauermeister, The School of Essential Ingredients
Geri Spieler, Taking Aim at the President
David Oppegaard, The Suicide Collectors
John Jeter, The Plunder Room
Josh Bazell, Beat the Reaper
Courtney Summers, Cracked Up to Be
Malcolm Shuman, The Levee
Peter James, Looking Good Dead
Thomas Perry, Runner
Merill Markoe, Nose Down, Eyes Up
David Lozell Martin, Losing Everything
Hallie Ephron, Never Tell A Lie
Simon Lewis, Bad Traffic
Bill Cameron, Chasing Smoke
Stewart O'Nan, Songs for the Missing
Brian Raftery, Don’t Stop Believin’
Mark Budman, My Life at First Try

--Marshal Zeringue