Friday, January 11, 2008

"Blood of the Wicked"

Leighton Gage has been a copywriter, an advertising creative director, a magazine editor, and a writer/producer/director of documentary films and industrial videos.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his debut novel, Blood of the Wicked, and reported the following:
Remember Monty Python? (“And now for something completely different…”)

Opening Blood of the Wicked at page 69 is like that:

His name was João Miranda.

Most people called him by his nickname: Cobra.

A new character is being introduced. There’s no (obvious) link to the foregoing action. You can read through to end of the chapter without once asking yourself what’s going on here?

We quickly learn that Cobra is a Brazilian criminal.

The operative word is “Brazilian.”

Blood of the Wicked is a murder mystery. But the murder takes place in Brazil. And that makes all the difference.

The country abounds with criminals who will kill for a handful of change or a cell phone. And it’s a country where many of those criminals have a day job – as policemen. Brazilian cops deal drugs and extort. They commit armed robberies and murder. They’re people to be feared.

My protagonist, Mario Silva, is a chief inspector of the Brazilian Federal Police, a moral man working within an immoral system. He often feels he has to break the law in order to enforce it.

Page 69 (and the seven pages that follow) are a story within the story. I’ve put them there to entertain, yes, but also to delineate nuances in Silva’s character, a character I’m betting readers will find fascinating – and “completely different.”
Read an excerpt from Blood of the Wicked and learn more about the author and his work at Leighton Gage's website and his Crimespace page.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue