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.