Friday, June 20, 2008

"Island of Lost Girls"

Jennifer McMahon is the author of Promise Not To Tell, Island of Lost Girls, and My Tiki Girl.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Island of Lost Girls and reported the following:
Island of Lost Girls opens with the protagonist, Rhonda, witnessing an abduction. She watches, unmoving, as someone in a rabbit costume takes a little girl from her car. Compelled by her guilt, she joins the investigation. She has to confront some of the mysteries of her own childhood, including what became of her best friend, Lizzy, who left for high school one morning and was never seen again. Lizzy’s brother, Peter, is quickly the number one suspect in the present day kidnapping, and, to complicate matters, is also the longtime object of Rhonda’s unrequited love.

On page 69, Rhonda has just discovered a key piece of evidence implicating Peter in the little girl’s kidnapping, and is more determined than ever to prove his innocence.

On the short walk back to the tables in the corner, Rhonda made up her mind not to tell Warren about seeing Laura Lee’s car in the scheduling book. Like it or not, the evidence was stacked against Peter and proving his innocence was going to be tricky. She needed more clues. Rhonda peeked into Pat’s office as she went by – empty. She stepped in and glanced at the clipboard on the wall next to the desk: the employee schedule. She flipped back to the week before and scanned the schedule for Thursday. Pat was working, along with someone named Carl. And Peter. Surely, if Peter drove off in Laura Lee’s car for any length to time, someone would have noticed. She couldn’t very well ask Pat, who would just see it as more evidence of Peter’s involvement (and possibly Rhonda’s too), so what she needed to do was find this Carl guy. She saw his name on the schedule later in the week. Perfect.

The writing on page 69 isn’t exactly poetic or lyrical; it’s a pretty nuts and bolts scene. It actually stands out to me because it’s rather mystery-ish, which isn’t typical of most of the rest of the book. It does show Rhonda throwing herself into her role of investigator, and demonstrates her fierce loyalty to Peter. She refuses to believe he could be involved in the kidnapping. As the story moves along, she begins to question this loyalty, and to wonder if the Peter she’s known all her life could have a darker side.
Read an excerpt from Island of Lost Girls, and learn more about the book and author at Jennifer McMahon's website and her MySpace page.

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

--Marshal Zeringue