Monday, April 23, 2007


Lawrence Light and Meredith Anthony applied the "page 69 test" to their new book, Ladykiller, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Ladykiller contains one piece of the puzzle. A series of murders has shaken New York City. Up to now, all the victims have been women and there have been no clues, no common ground, no intersection in the lives of the very different victims. In the latest killing, the victim is a man, a social worker. Is it a copycat? Has the killer made a mistake? Is this killing the key to solving the riddle of the series? Detective Dave Dillon of the NYPD is routinely questioning residents in a building near one of the series of killings. Most of the people he’s talked to saw and heard nothing. This time it’s different.

Page 69:

"What the hell do you want?"

Dave jolted into alertness. A sour old man, all lips and eyes, had answered his knock. Dave's father would have said, "The last face I saw that ugly had a hook in it."

"Police, Mr. Tucker. We wonder if you--?"

"About time you got here. I been dialing 911 all day. They keep saying someone will be over. Busy wolfing down doughnuts, weren't you?"

Dave wasn't surprised that he hadn't heard about Tucker calling 911. They were too busy with genuine emergencies to relay tips in a timely fashion. "Sorry, sir. I've been trying to get to you." Dave attempted an apologetic grin.

"There were three of them."

"I beg your pardon."

"Three of them on the street last night. I don't sleep good, nights. Never have. My wife, when she was alive, said it was because I had a guilty conscience. What have I got to be guilty about? People don't like me, I say, 'Fuck'em.' Always have."

"What did you see, Mr. Tucker?"

"We're on the seventh floor now, remember." He led Dave to the window and pointed down to the taped-off murder scene diagonally across the street and down a building. "That's a ways down to the street. And my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, especially at night. When I was working, I managed an office. Used to be able to spot something wrong with someone desks and desks away. Old Eagle-Eye Tucker, they called me. I straightened them all out. If they didn't like it, fuck 'em."

Dave nodded. "What did you see, sir?"

"Three people. One hit the other one, knocked him down. The one hit ran off, yelling. I couldn't hear what. The other two seemed to be talking. I figured this was some drug deal. Then there's this flash of light and a gunshot. Took me a moment to understand. The guy with the fists was shot."

Two persons involved in the slaying of Reuben Silver? "Could you identify any of them? Maybe pick out some kind of distinguishing characteristics?"
Read the publisher's description of Ladykiller.

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

--Marshal Zeringue