Saturday, September 19, 2009


Stephen Jay Schwartz grew up in New Mexico and traveled the United States extensively before settling down in Los Angeles. There he became the Director of Development for Wolfgang Petersen, helping develop films such as Outbreak and Air Force One.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Boulevard, his first novel, and reported the following:
Ah, if only it were all about page 68, which is rich with a symbolism that carries through to the end of the novel. Page 69 of Boulevard comprises only a paragraph or so, the end of a chapter. Still, it does capture a few of the main themes:

His desperate protestations sounded like admissions of guilt to her ears until he finally called out, “What do I need to do to prove I’m not lying?” and she responded with what she had wanted all along: “A lie-detector test.”

At the time it seemed like a good idea. Hayden was willing to do almost anything to keep his marriage intact. He had been honest with her and he was sure the test would prove him right. In fact, however, it proved to be the beginning of the end.

The chapter is about Hayden’s disclosure to his wife about his sexual addiction, about the years of picking prostitutes off the street, going to strip clubs, visiting brothels. It’s about trust, love, break-up, fear, addiction.

Odd topics to be floating around in a hard-boiled crime-thriller, no?

Robbery-Homicide Detective Hayden Glass is a flawed human being. As the review in Booklist says, Hayden is “decent, haunted, and sometimes loathsome.” This is a true depiction of his character. He’s human.

But it’s also this addiction, this darkness which he understands, that helps him catch one of the cruelest serial killers Los Angeles has ever known. Had he not been a sex addict, he might not have known where to look.

However, had Hayden Glass not been a sex addict, the killer might never have arrived in the first place…
Read an excerpt from Boulevard, and learn more about the author and his work at Stephen Jay Schwartz's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue