Friday, October 3, 2008

"A Song for You"

Betsy Thornton, who works for the Cochise County Attorney’s Victim Witness Program as a victim compensation advocate and a victim advocate, is the author of the Chloe Newcombe Mystery series.

She applied the Page 69 Test to the latest novel in the series, A Song for You, and reported the following:
A Song for You is a mystery about Annie Glenn, a young woman who sang with a rock band Point of No Return and who was murdered some 16 years before the book begins. I was a victim advocate for fifteen years and have always been interested in the long term effect on the people closest to the victim of a violent crime-- in this case Annie's daughter Rachel who was ten at the time and Annie's boyfriend Kurt, who was charged and found not guilty of her murder. When the book begins Rachel is in her twenties and still dealing emotionally with the murder of her mother while Kurt is struggling too, both trying to find their way back to who they were before the murder.

On page sixty-nine Rachel is remembering having to testify at the trial:

…hardly remembered actually testifying as though it were someone else on the stand and she was in the audience watching. When she got to the part about finding her mother, one of the jurors, a middle-aged woman, started crying softly.

"Rachel," asked Mr. Rasmussen, "do you know a man named Kurt Dickens?"


"And who was he in relation to your mom?"

"Her boyfriend."

"And is he here in the courtroom?"


"Want to point him out."

Kurt was sitting over to the right in her line of sight, next to his lawyer. Mr. Cooper. His blond hair was much shorter than it used to be and he was wearing a white shirt, red tie and a tan sports jacket. The sleeves of the jacket weren't quite long enough. The last time she saw him before her mother's death was when the three of them took a hike into Dixie Canyon to look at the waterfalls made by the monsoons. He'd been funny that day, funny haha.

It was so sad remembering that funny haha day that she could hardly bear it. She pointed to him without really looking at his face.

"We need you to speak out loud for the recorder. What's he wearing, Rachel?"

"A tan jacket, white shirt and a red tie."

"Now Rachel do you remember at some time Kurt Dickens lending your mother his gun?"

She had tried so hard to remember but a memory it wouldn't come. She tried now but it still wouldn't. "No," she said.

"You have no memory of that at all?"
Read an excerpt from A Song for You, and learn more about the author and her work at Betsy Thornton's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue