Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"The Cold Room"

JT Ellison is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series, including All The Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss and The Cold Room. Her novels have been published in 14 countries, and she was named "Best Mystery/Thriller Writer of 2008" by the Nashville Scene.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Cold Room and reported the following:
I’m always struck by how innocuous page 69 originally seems, and how relevant it actually is to the actual story. Strangely enough, page 69 of The Cold Room fits symbiotically into this pattern. We see Taylor Jackson, newly demoted from lieutenant to homicide detective, getting the shake down from her new boss. In no uncertain terms, she knows that things have dramatically changed for her. It’s her adaptation to these changes that drive the story forward.
He stuck a hand out across the desk.

“Morty Elm. I’m from New Orleans, I worked with the chief down there and was very happy to come onboard when this unfortunate situation warranted your, well, let’s just call it disciplining, shall we?”

Before she had a chance to speak, he continued.

“I’d like to establish a few ground rules. I like to be kept informed of everything my detectives are doing, so you’ll report in regularly. I prefer to read your updates, so if you’d be kind enough to turn in a detailed sheet every evening of your day’s accomplishments, that will make my life grand. I’d also like a full rundown of where you stand with each of your cases, and your plans for solving them.

“I run a tight ship, so I expect you to be at your desk by eight, and to adhere to the dress code. Jeans are not suitable for my detectives. You will sign in and sign out every time you leave the office. In addition, you will find a listing of what is appropriate and what is not on your desk. I spoke with Detective McKenzie this morning, he seems like a fine young man. You have considerably more experience than he, so I trust you’ll be comfortable mentoring the detective, teaching him the ropes.”

“Of course.”

“Then we understand each other. No more surprises at crime scenes, Detective. That’s all I have for you right now. I’ll expect that status report by five. You may go.”
If you know Taylor at all, you know that this doesn’t go over very well. On the next page she resolutely balls up the “appropriateness list” and tosses it in the trash. That’s my girl!
Learn more about the book and author at J.T. Ellison's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: the Taylor Jackson series.

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

--Marshal Zeringue