Friday, December 12, 2008

"Shot Girl"

Annie Seymour, a crime reporter in New Haven, Connecticut, is the protagonist of four novels by Karen E. Olson: Sacred Cows, Secondhand Smoke, Dead of the Day, and the newly published Shot Girl.

Olson applied the Page 69 Test to the new novel and reported the following:
Page 69 of Shot Girl doesn’t have a lot of action, but it’s very indicative of the book’s tone and plot. In this book, police reporter Annie Seymour is tangled up in the death of her ex-husband outside a local nightclub. She’s been struggling with being taken off the police beat while the case is open and seeing her nemesis Dick Whitfield being given her job, something she’s been afraid of throughout the series. It’s also clear from early on that Annie knows more than she’s telling the reader — and her city editor, Marty Thompson:

Marty stood up, an imposing figure at 6-foot-4, and led me by the arm to Charlie Simmons’ vacant office. Charlie must’ve had an early Friday night date. When the door was shut behind us, he turned to me.

“Renee told me in confidence that you were seen talking to Ralph Seymour just before he was shot. And that you were seen outside just after he was shot.”

I took a deep breath. “Yeah, I did talk to Ralph, and she knows it. We talked about it last night. I was outside because I heard the shots and wanted to find out what happened. There’s nothing mysterious about it.”

I hoped I was convincing enough so he’d leave it alone.

Marty studied my face for a few seconds, and I forced myself not to look away. Finally, he said, “One of her sisters saw you near your car after the shooting.”

I knew what he was getting at now. “So you think I shot at Ralph, he keeled over, and then I put my gun back in my car afterward? The parking lot isn’t far from where Ralph collapsed.”

Marty sighed. “I’m just telling you what’s out there.”

Jesus. He meant the gossip.

“Tom let me go,” I said.

Despite the door being closed, we heard the scanner screech about an accident. On reflex, I put my hand to the doorknob, but Marty shook his head. “No, Annie, Dick’s got this.”
Read an excerpt from Shot Girl, and learn more about the author and her work at Karen E. Olson's website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue