Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Killing Circle"

Andrew Pyper is the author of the novels Lost Girls (which was a New York Times and Globe and Mail Notable Book of the Year), The Wildfire Season, and The Trade Mission: A Novel of Psychological Terror, as well as Kiss Me, a collection of stories.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Killing Circle, and reported the following:
The Killing Circle is a thriller about writing. Yes, you read that right. A literal literary thriller.

Patrick Rush is a widower, single dad, and journalist recently demoted to the “universal newspaper grease trap”: TV critic. But what Patrick has always secretly yearned for is to write a novel. Trouble is, he doesn’t think his own life is worthy of literary translation, and he hasn’t the imagination (or so he thinks) to come up with a story on his own. So he does what half the literate world seems to be doing lately: he joins a writing circle. There, he encounters a young woman, Angela, who reads an unsettling – and possibly true? – tale from her “journal,” the story of a little orphan girl being pursued by a “Terrible Man Who Does Terrible Things.” A shadowy figure she names the Sandman. It’s a story that, much later, Patrick ends up stealing. A crime he will come to regret…and perhaps not survive.

Page 69 of The Killing Circle is a sample from Angela’s journal, a horrific turn in the little girl’s narrative (which may just be Angela’s autobiography) that suggests the Sandman is more real than fictional. It’s a part of a story within the larger story, in other words. In fact, The Killing Circle can be seen as a story within a story within a story. And it’s left something of a mystery as to whether Angela, or Patrick, or a guy called “Andrew Pyper” wrote it. You’ll have to decide its authorship for yourself.
Learn more about the author and The Killing Circle--and watch some video trailers--at Andrew Pyper's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue