Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Boca Mournings"

Steven M. Forman is the author of Boca Knights, which was his first novel. He and his wife divide their time between Massachusetts and Boca Raton, Florida.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Boca Mournings, and reported the following:
Boca Mournings, the sequel to Boca Knights, is about the changes we all experience in life and the mourning period between the “old days”… and the “new ways.” Eddie Perlmutter, the protagonist from Boca Knights, mourns…”I’m not the man I used to be,” while the woman in his life assures him…”I like the man you are.”

Page 69 deals with a phase of Eddie’s metamorphosis from knockout puncher to strategist while never abandoning his principles or losing his sense of humor.

The end of Boca Knights takes place in front of the Palm Beach Courthouse in a clash between the forces of good and evil. The evil was Aryan Army, a white supremacist hate group. The good was represented by a makeshift militia of Boca Knights determined to fight for the right to live in peace. The issue that created the confrontation was the pending indictment of neo Nazi Randolph Buford, the eighteen year old son of Forest Buford, a virulent, violent white supremacist. Buford attacked two black women in the Boca Mall parking lot and was caught in the act by Eddie and taken into custody by the police. Boca Knights ended with no conclusion to the conflict.

In Boca Mournings we learn Buford was indicted and held in jail without bail pending his trial. While waiting for justice to be served Eddie determines that only three outcomes are possible with a trial. One… Buford could be found innocent and go free. Two…Buford could go to jail, become a hero for his cause and come out worse than he went in. And three…Buford could go to jail and get killed by fellow inmates. Eddie finds all three options unacceptable and, in his new capacity as a strategist, he develops an alternative plan. He spreads a false rumor that Buford is cooperating with the police in exchange for a shorter sentence. Aryan Army believes the rumor and is infuriated. Buford begins receiving death threats in prison. Eddie has created an untenable situation for the Buford family which makes them more likely to accept the bizarre alternative he wants to present to them. Buford’s mother asks for a meeting with Eddie to convince him to retract his false rumor.

On page 69 Eddie is at the Boca Police station ready to confront Buford’s parent’s request. He is talking to Frank Burke, chief of the Boca Police, who arranged the meeting.

Page 69-
“What’s up Chief?” I asked cheerfully.

He looked up at me tiredly.

“The Bufords will tell you,” Frank said as he got up. “They’re in the conference room. Mrs. Buford asked for this meeting. She’s a very distressed mother.”

I knew Randolph had a mother. I just never gave it any thought.

“What’s her problem besides living with Hitler and Eichman?”

“Threats to her son’s life seem to be bothering her,” he said. “Someone, I not saying who, spread a rumor that Randolph was cooperating with the prosecution against Aryan Army. His parents think you’re the source.”

“Why would I do that?”

“You tell me,” Burke said.

Frank and I were friends but my methods were a lot different than his.

“I have nothing to tell you except I think you should put the little storm trooper in isolation until his trial …for his own protection,” I said.

“He is in isolation,” Frank told me.

“Then this is an isolated incident,” I said. Frank didn’t laugh so I moved on. “What do Mr. and Mrs. Hitler want from me?”

“They want a retraction of the rumor,” Frank informed me.

Napoleon said, ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.’”

Frank wasn’t amused. “Do you often quote Napoleon?”

“No, he gives me a complex.”
Eddie’s alternative plan to Buford’s mother sends the book spiraling off in an entirely new direction.
Read an excerpt from Boca Mournings, and learn more about the book and author at Steven M. Forman's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue