Sunday, April 4, 2010

"The Fallen"

Mark Terry is the author of three Derek Stillwater novels, The Devil's Pitchfork, The Serpent's Kiss, and The Fallen, as well as two standalone novels, Dirty Deeds and Dancing in the Dark. In addition, he is the author of Catfish Guru, a collection of mystery novellas, numerous short stories and literally hundreds of magazine and trade journal articles.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Fallen and reported the following:
So, the urban legend says, flip the book open and read page 69, and if it’s good, read the book. In my novel The Fallen, this places us outside the Colorado Springs resort where the G8 Summit is about to start and told from the point of view of a secondary character, Russian FSB Agent Irina Khournikova. She and a fellow Russian agent are watching as the various world leaders are flying into the resort on helicopters, and she is thinking about a terrorist group, The Fallen Angels, that she is concerned will somehow attack the summit.
….She had become an expert—as big an expert as anybody on the planet, she supposed—on The Fallen Angels, the name of Andarbek’s group of operators. They headquartered in the Georgian mountains, bought or stole weapons, sold them to whoever needed or wanted them.

Over time they evolved into something else, a weird cultlike group of apocalyptic terrorists.

The first of the helicopters—Marine One—that carried the president of the United States and his staff, settled onto the expanse of lawn in front of the Cheyenne Center. A marine honor guard stood at attention, and a small military band played ‘Hail to the Chief’ as President Langston deplaned, waving to a small contingent of the press.

Irina glanced upward at the roofs of the buildings, mentally checking off the Secret Service sharpshooters she saw at different points of the compass. She shifted her gaze to the Secret Service guards who walked alongside the president in their dark suits, eyes covered with sunglasses, bodies stiff with the focus of their attention.

President Langston stood listening to ‘Hail to the Chief,’ and when it was finally finished, he saluted and led the U.S. contingent through the entrance of the Cheyenne Center.

Another helicopter landed, then another, and another.
So, is this representative of The Fallen? I would say yes and no. The Fallen is very much an action-filled novel. The main character, Derek Stillwater, is undercover at the resort where the Summit is being held when the terrorist group, The Fallen Angels, takes it over, holds 20 world leaders hostage and threatens to kill one per hour if their demands aren’t met. Derek spends the time in the crawlspaces, corridors, heating and cooling vents, and elevator shafts, fighting his own guerilla war against the terrorists. From a high concept perspective, The Fallen is “’Die Hard’ at the G8 Summit.”

This selection on page 69 is scene setting. It gives us a sense of who Irina is—she’s an important character—and an overall sense of the drama and complexity and scale of the G8 Summit. It also allows me to provide some background on The Fallen Angels from Irina’s point of view, which is slightly different from Derek’s point of view. Still, it’s a piece of the whole, and I hope you enjoyed it.
Read chapters 1-6 of The Fallen, and learn more about the book and author at Mark Terry's website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue