Saturday, July 24, 2010


Blake Crouch was born near the piedmont town of Statesville, North Carolina in 1978. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2000 with degrees in English and Creative Writing.

His first two novels are Desert Places and Locked Doors. Beginning in late 2005, and inspired by his relocation to Durango, Colorado, he researched and wrote a book set in the past and present in a remote mining town high in the San Juan Mountains. The resulting novel, Abandon, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Snowbound, his new novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 is the start of Chapter 19 of Snowbound, and is a great representation of the tone, speed, and tension of the book. In this excerpt, my protagonist, Will Innis, has teamed up with Kalyn Sharp, a defrocked FBI agent, to follow and kidnap a man named Javier Estrada, who is one of my favorite villains I’ve written. They suspect Javier of kidnapping Will’s wife 5 years ago, a crime for which Will was suspected. This scene is the buildup to a pretty exciting kidnapping sequence, when Will begins to realize just how far over his head he really is:
The new Escalade slowed as it neared the entrance to The Boulders, right turn signal blinking.

“What’d you do?” Will asked again.

Kalyn cut her eyes at him, grinned wickedly. The Escalade pulled out onto N. Tom Darlington Road. They followed.

“Do me a favor,” Kalyn said. “Reach in my purse and pull out the Glock. You’ve held a gun before, right?”

“Yeah, at Webelos camp about twenty years ago.” Will lifted out a small, black semi-automatic handgun. “Loaded?” he asked.

“Yep. Now very gently, pull back on the slide. You see a round?”

He saw the copper-tipped gold casing. “Yeah.”

“You can put it back.” Will looked up through the windshield, Javier’s SUV fifty yards ahead, but something clearly wrong with it, the Escalade drifting toward the shoulder.

“Why’s he swerving?”

Kalyn smiled again.

“Oh God,” he said. “You didn’t.”

After another half mile, Javier pulled over onto the shoulder. The way it dipped forward and to the right, Will could tell the vehicle’s right front tire was flat. Kalyn slowed down, and twenty yards past the front bumper of the Escalade, veered over onto the shoulder.

She turned off the car, said, “You ready for this?”


“Listen. You just do exactly what I say, and it’ll be fine.” Will looked in the side mirror, saw Javier’s door swing open. “When we come back,” Kalyn said, “I want you to drive. Javier’s gonna be beside you. I’m gonna be in back with the gun.” Kalyn reached into her purse and pulled out the Glock.
Read an excerpt from Snowbound.

Visit Blake Crouch's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue