Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Accidents Waiting to Happen"

Simon Wood's Bloody Dagger Award-nominated novel is Accidents Waiting to Happen.

He applied the "page 69 test" to the book and reported the following:
The editor who bought Accidents Waiting to Happen remarked he loved the pace and the action. “There’s no let up,” he remarked, “It keeps building and building.” So does the page 69 test fall slap bang in the middle of a breathless scene featuring my protagonist under pressure? Nope. Page 69 falls in the middle of a birthday party scene which is fraught with trouble. My protagonist’s blackmailer gatecrashes the party. The story’s antagonist gets access to the party under the guise of an assumed identity to set up the protagonist up for a future crime. There’s foreshadowing for an impending disaster. There’s plenty going on, but even so, page 69 is the calm before the storm. It contains nothing more than small talk between these events. Page 69 serves as no banner headline for the story. Crap.

Seeing as my page 69 test misses the mark, here’s a small glimpse into what happens before and after page 69 in Accidents Waiting to Happen. Josh Michaels lives in suburban bliss with his wife and daughter until he’s run off the road by an SUV and into the river. The SUV driver doesn’t call for help. Instead, he simply watches Josh and gives him the thumbs-down sign before driving off. This bizarre act ignites a series of problems for Josh. His ex-secretary invades his life. She’d blackmailed him out of fifty thousand dollars when she’d learned of a kickback he’d taken to pay for his daughter’s medical expenses. Her hush money has run out and she wants more. Josh had cashed in his life insurance to pay her. There lies his problem. Accidents are befalling a number of people who’ve cashed in their life insurance. Josh has to keep his blackmailer at bay, his indiscretion a secret and a killer off his back to unearth the truth.

There’s a lot happening in Accidents Waiting to Happen. It’s a shame page 69 didn’t show it.
Visit Simon Wood's website and read Chapter One from Accidents Waiting to Happen.

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

--Marshal Zeringue