Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"House Rules"

Mike Lawson is the author of three Joe DeMarco thrillers: The Inside Ring, The Second Perimeter and, new in bookstores very soon, House Rules.

He applied the Page 69 Test to House Rules and reported the following:
This turned out to be a fun and enlightening exercise. The first thing I noticed was that there was enough information on that page to give someone a basic idea of the plot, but what was more interesting was how much that particular page revealed about the character of my protagonist, Joe DeMarco.

On Page 69, DeMarco has just woken up after spending the night with a woman he just met. She picks up the paper and sees the headline: Terrorist Shot on D. C. shuttle. Later, when DeMarco is reflecting on the newspaper article, he gives a brief summary of the plot: that there have been two recent terrorist attacks on the nation’s capitol and a maverick senator is trying to pass a law that would negatively affect Muslim Americans.

But what I particularly liked about page 69 was what it said about DeMarco’s character. At the very top of the page DeMarco says: “… there should be some way to stop time and cause all relationships to stay forever at the four day point.” This remark is very indicative of DeMarco’s bad luck with women and his past relationships.

Later it says: “He (DeMarco) read the three articles on the hijacking attempt, skipped the editorials on (the Senator’s) bill, and then, because he hadn’t kept his ear to the ground as directed (by his boss) he called Jerry Hansen at Homeland Security. Jerry wasn’t in. Too bad. He’d tried.” This is typical of DeMarco: a guy that doesn’t particularly like his job or his boss, and isn’t going to kill himself to make his boss happy.

In summary, Page 69 was quite revealing in terms of basic plot information but more revealing in terms of my protagonist's attitude toward women, his attitude toward life in general, and portrays him as the just-trying-to-get-along guy that he is.
Read an excerpt from House Rules, and learn more about the author and his work at Mike Lawson's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue