Friday, August 1, 2008

"Fuzzy Navel"

J.A. Konrath is the author of the Jack Daniels mysteries: Dirty Martini, Rusty Nail, Bloody Mary, and Whiskey Sour.

He applied the Page 69 Test to the new book in the series, Fuzzy Navel, and reported the following:
I had a lot of fun with the premise for Fuzzy Navel. A criminal from Chicago Homicide Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels's past breaks into her house to kill her and everyone she cares about. Meanwhile, Jack is working on a sniper case, and the three snipers follow her home and surround the house. Mayhem ensues. In this scene, the criminal is playing a little Russian roulette with people Jack loves. While the book has a lot of comedy in it, I decided to play this part straight...

Page 69 of Fuzzy Navel:

“Wrong.” Alex holds up the revolver. “Who do you want me to shoot, your mother or your fiancee?”

My stomach falls to my ankles. “Give me another chance. You’re smarter than I am.”

“No. Choose.”

I’m tempted to say please, but begging Alex won’t help the situation. She feeds off of weakness. I promise myself I won’t beg, no matter how bad it gets.

I look at Mom. She doesn’t meet my eyes. I wonder if she’s being strong, or if she’s gone someplace in her head. Then I look at Latham. He nods at me. My sweetheart is giving me permission to shoot him.

“I refuse to decide,” I say.

“Fine. Then I’ll do both.”


Alex points the gun at Latham and fires, then turns it on Mom and fires.

Two empty chambers, but something inside me breaks. The panic worms its way to the surface, and a soft whimper tears loose. I don’t want to cry, don’t want to let Alex see it, but some tears make it out anyway.

“Hmm,” Alex says. “What were the odds there? A forty percent chance one of them would die? Looks like you got lucky, Jack. Now try again. How did I convince the authorities that Dr. Panko was me?”

I have no idea. My brain is mush, scrambled eggs. I’m being forced to watch the people I love get killed. Alex will keep going until they both are dead, then she’ll start on me. How am I supposed to be able to think?

“The clock is ticking, Jack. You have five seconds.”
Learn more about the book and author at J.A. Konrath's website.

The Page 99 Test: Dirty Martini.

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

--Marshal Zeringue