Friday, February 26, 2010

"Let It Ride"

John McFetridge lives in Toronto and works as a staff writer for the TV cop show The Bridge, airing on CBS this fall.

He is the author of the crime novels Dirty Sweet, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and the newly released Let It Ride [Canadian title: Swap].

He applied the Page 69 Test to Let It Ride and discovered the following:
We got lucky. Page 69 is quite representative of the book. It has two of the main characters, Get and JT, driving from Toronto to a small town up north to kill some members of another biker gang. Get is asking about how the bikers are organized in Canada because it isn’t anything like he’s seen in the US. The Canadian bikers have a different history, they didn’t start out as army vets, they were never very interested in ‘freedom’ or the open road. In Canada they pretty much started as drug dealers. JT is explaining that the Saints of Hell, of which he’s a member, united all the other biker gangs in Canada. They even had a ceremony that the police referred to as a “Patch Over,” where the symbols of the Saints of Hell were sewn on all their jackets, replacing whatever was there.
J.T. cut across three lanes of traffic to the 410, heading north. “That’s what the cops call it, we don’t say that.”

He smiled at Get, made him wonder who the “we” he was talking about was. “They had a fucking ceremony, actually brought in sewing machines.”

Get was starting to notice a lot of the traffic was black guys. Not black, like American black, but dark, darkskinned Pakis. Or something. He said, “Sewing machines?”

“Like my mom used to use.”

Get said his mother wasn’t much on sewing.

“And they actually took over all these other clubs, sewed Saints colours onto their jackets.”

“You have a jacket?”

J.T. said, oh yeah. “But I can’t wear it yet, till I get my patch. If I get voted in.”

Get said, if.

“And boots and leather pants, man. And a bike. Shit, when I got back from Afghan and I called up Chuckie — this was right after the big takeover when these guys were starting to look like they knew what they were doing — he brings me to a clubhouse, shows me around, says what kind of bike you ride?” J.T. was smiling at the memory. “I said, you know, a Harley, what else. I was driving the new Charger then, before the new Avenger came out.”

“You like Dodge?”

“I like horsepower.”

“But you didn’t have a bike?”

“I went and picked one up,” J.T. said, “after I saw the way they worked and saw some future in it. It’s too fucking loud and you can’t carry shit.”

Get was laughing. “Some fucking biker you are.”

J.T. was laughing, too, saying he was the new breed.

Then he said, “You know, they got a lot of crap in with the new patches, but some decent money-makers, too. But then, what really happened, this guy Richard Tremblay, the French guy you saw at the clubhouse, he came down to Toronto and like a week later the top guy in Montreal, guy they called Mon Oncle ‘cause he was like everybody’s favourite uncle, gets picked up. Right now he’s the only guy in a women’s prison, they built him a special wing.”
View the trailer for Let It Ride, and learn more about the author and his work at John McFetridge's website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue