Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Lost Dog"

Bill Cameron's debut mystery is Lost Dog, to which he applied the "page 69 test" and reported the following:
Lost Dog begins in two places: first, in the mind of one man hiding a dead body in a park, then in the mind of another, Peter, who finds it. Struggling with his own demons in the face of his discovery, Peter pisses off police assigned to the case, sees his emotional outburst featured on the television news, and draws the attention of Darla, daughter of the victim. He agrees to meet with Darla to discuss her mother's death, but the conversation doesn't go well, and by page 69, it's over.

“Wait,” he said. “How do I get in touch with you?”

[Darla] smiled grimly through her tears. “What the hell makes you think you’ll want to get in touch with me?” She shook her head. “You’ll be glad you got rid of me so easy. Just give it a few minutes.”

She walked out the door. He half-stood and watched her through the glass. She headed around the corner of the building and disappeared. He settled back into his chair and sat staring at his empty Danish plate, at his full coffee mug. Should’ve called Mulvaney. Just not made of tough enough stuff to deal with this. Jesus Christ.

This moment in the novel a microcosm of so much which is going on in Lost Dog. It's a moment when Peter's ambivalence about the situation stands in stark contrast to the decisions he made to put himself there. He's both attracted to and repelled by the killing, by the police, by the reaction of Darla. His connection to the death is coincidental, but his continued involvement is a product of his own compulsions. In the end, he'll have to come to terms with those compulsions if he is to survive.
Read an excerpt from Lost Dog and visit Cameron's website where you can view a video trailer for the novel.

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

--Marshal Zeringue