Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Dead of the Day"

Annie Seymour, a crime reporter in New Haven, Connecticut, is the protagonist of three novels by Karen E. Olson: Sacred Cows, Secondhand Smoke, and the recently published Dead of the Day.

Olson applied the Page 69 Test to the new novel and reported the following:
On Page 69 of Dead of the Day, Annie Seymour is in her childhood bedroom at her mother’s house with her former beau, Detective Tom Behr. They are there because the house has been broken into and her mother is out of the country on vacation.

Tom bit his lip, trying not to laugh, as his eyes scanned the room, falling next on my bookshelves that housed In Cold Blood, Helter Skelter and — God help me — Love Story and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

A pile of record albums was stacked in a milk crate, and Tom glanced at the one on top. John Denver’s Greatest Hits. He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Shit, Tom, I got that when I was 12.”

“So your mother has been away how long?” I was grateful he changed the subject, but he didn’t leave the room. I was feeling some pretty bad karma in here, and I wanted to get out before my ghost of teenage past decided to come back and offer me a bong hit.

I took a step backward, toward the door. “They’ve been gone a week. They’re back tomorrow.”


“She’s with Bill Bennett.” I sighed, wishing it weren’t so but not able to do anything about it. “She called me this morning, asked me to come by and check for a fax, it was here, I saw her cleaning lady and then the cleaning lady got in a car with a creepy guy and took off.” I didn’t want to tell him that Rocco was here, too, and that we’d followed Lourdes. That might make it a little too complicated and it didn’t seem altogether relevant. I took another step toward the hall.

This page gives the reader a glimpse back into the past to the teenage Annie, her current relationship with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend (who is her boss), and a snapshot of the action that’s occurred in previous chapters. While it doesn’t move the story forward per se, it takes a short pause to let the reader take a breath in a book that is full of plot twists and action.
Read an excerpt from Dead of the Day and visit Karen E. Olson's website to learn more about her and her books.

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

--Marshal Zeringue