Sunday, October 5, 2008

"First to Kill"

First to Kill is Andrew Peterson's debut thriller.

He applied the Page 69 Test to the novel and reported the following:
From Page 69:

This is Special Agent Bruce Henning.” Handshakes were made all around, and it was agreed to use first names. As they walked toward the sedan, Nathan evaluated his escorts. Holly Simpson was small and compact, but her demeanor said otherwise. She had a firm handshake and an aura of confidence surrounding her. Her black hair was shoulder length, not too long, not too short. It was… Just right. When her hazel eyes had looked his face over, they hadn’t reacted to the scars. Henning, on the other hand, had stared way too long, and Nathan got the distinct impression he resented outsiders being involved in bureau business. An understandable attitude, but too damned bad. The guy was medium height and build with perfect, blow dried sandy hair. Not a friggin’ strand out of place. There was intensity in his dark eyes and something else, harder to pinpoint… Nathan didn’t like him.

“I’m very sorry about your man up at the compound,” Nathan offered to Holly.

“I appreciate that,” she said.

“What exactly are you authorized to do with the Bridgestones’ cousins?” Henning asked.

Nathan stopped walking and faced the man. Henning’s statement and tone was clearly designed to put him on the defensive. Not on my watch and not from the likes of you. This was no time to show even the slightest hint of weakness or hesitation. Nathan leaned forward slightly and locked eyes.

“We’re authorized to torture them, Bruce. Do you have a problem with that?”

Henning stared for a few seconds. “There’s no evidence they had anything to do with Freedom’s Echo. They’re just a couple of hay seeds.”

“Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.”

“Look,” Holly said, “the bureau owes you for firing that warning shot up at the compound. You saved a dozen lives, but you need to understand we’re uncomfortable with this kind of thing. The FBI doesn’t condone it. It’s a serious breach of ethics for us.”

I'd have to say this page is representative of the book. It's written in my main character's POV. He doesn't really like the FBI's involvement, but it's unavoidable. He's a little irritated and tired in this scene and the narrative voice reflects that.

I would say yes, a reader would be inclined to keep reading to find out what Nathan is going to do that bothers the FBI so much.
Read the first chapter of First to Kill, and learn more about the book and author at Andrew Peterson's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue