Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Bitter Legacy"

A board-certified trial lawyer, H. Terrell Griffin practiced law in Orlando for thirty-eight years. His books include Murder Key, Longboat Blues, Blood Island, and Wyatt’s Revenge.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Bitter Legacy, his new novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 is part of the plot in the sense that Matt and Logan become aware for the first time that somebody is serious about finding them in a place where Logan had been hidden by the Sarasota cops. They thought Logan was safe. The story builds from there as the characters try to stay alive and at the same time figure out who is trying to kill them. As the plot develops, the protagonist and his sidekicks find more and more evidence of a shadowy force that is trying to keep secret some 150-year-old documents that could destroy a financial empire based in Florida. Matt Royal and his friends Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren follow the clues, dodging a biker gang, an elusive computer hacker, an albino nurse, and an elderly man, all of whom are intent on killing them. They find help from a beautiful female detective who has recently joined the Longboat Key Police Department and who is not happy about their involvement in her investigation.

Page 69:
“Then why are they sitting out in the parking lot on a couple of Harleys?”

“I see what you mean. I’ll be there in half an hour. Did you call the sheriffs?”

“A deputy’s been outside my door since last night. Apparently Bill Lester called and told them about the guy that came after you yesterday. I’m supposed to stay put.”

“But you don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Not a chance. I’m a sitting duck here, deputy or no deputy.”

“I’m on my way.”

I threw on some clothes and left in a hurry. I was only vaguely aware that my living room had been put back together, the mess cleaned up. I’d have to buy a new TV. Maybe they’d get the rest of it done by the end of the day.

My best bet was south on Gulf of Mexico Drive, around St. Armands Circle, out Fruitville Road to Interstate 75, then south a couple of exits to Logan’s hotel. That took almost forty-five minutes.

I pulled into the parking lot. Two tough looking men were sitting on motorcycles, drinking from green beer bottles. A radio was blaring rock music. I continued on around the building. I didn’t want anybody to see my Explorer in case someone recognized it. I parked in a loading zone next to a door near the large Dumpster that overflowed with garbage. Today was probably the pick-up day. The door was locked. A sign said, “No Entrance. Deliveries only.”

I picked up the phone hanging on the wall next to the door. No dial. I put the receiver to my ear. A ring tone. Then an answer, “Front desk.”

“This is Hugo,” I said. “I’ve got sodas to deliver for the machines.”

“Where’s Buddy?”

“Out sick today. I’m covering his route.”

“Come on in.” There was a buzzing sound and I heard the lock click open.

I went through the door into a small vestibule. Steps led upward. A push bar was on the door below a sign that said, “Emergency Exit Only.”
Learn more about the book and author at H. Terrell Griffin's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue