Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Little Girl Gone"

Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of the acclaimed Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel, The Deceived, which won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, Shadow of Betrayal, and the recently released The Silenced.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Little Girl Gone, and reported the following:
Little Girl Gone is the first book in a new series. It features Logan Harper, a man not looking for redemption, just some peace and a chance to forget his troubled past. But one morning his quiet life is upended when he interrupts the attempted murder of his father’s best friend Tooney. The next thing Logan knows, he’s on his way to Los Angeles, searching for Tooney’s missing granddaughter and uncovering a sinister plot connected not only to Tooney’s Burmese past, but also to the boardrooms of corporate America. As the odds stack up against him, Logan must fall back on old skills from the life he'd rather forget. He’s made a promise, and the only way to fulfill it is to bring the girl home alive.

Since LGG is an ebook, and page numbers are different for each reader depending on font size, device, etc, I chose page 69 from my finished manuscript. That page 69 finds Logan in Los Angeles, where he comes across the man who had tried to kill Tooney, and takes off in foot pursuit after him. Only things don’t quite go the way he planned. It’s a good example of Logan trying to do the right thing despite the obstacles he keeps having to hurdle, something he comes up against several times in the story. You don’t necessarily get a lot of character stuff here, more action, so on that front it’s only semi-representative of the novel, but all-in-all a good look into the book.

Excerpt from Page 69:
The man had gone to the right, so Logan did the same. Unlike the roads they’d run on to this point, there were others around now—joggers and walkers and people with dogs. Logan weaved in and out, anticipating those in front of him, and trying not to get tangled up in any leashes.

To Logan’s left, the grassy strip that separated the path from the sand gave way to a mostly empty parking lot. Ahead, he could see the road that led into the lot, and thought there was at least a fifty percent chance the man would turn down it and head away from the beach. But when the guy got there, he kept going straight.

That was fine by Logan. The fewer turns they took, the quicker he would catch him.

As he swung around a middle-aged man walking a border collie, intending to cross the street and continue down the concrete boardwalk, a police car pulled across his path, and slammed on its brakes.

Logan cut to the right to run behind it as the doors flew opened on both sides, and two officers jumped out.

“Stop right there!” one of them yelled.

Logan continued around the back of the car, not interested in whoever they were after.

“You! Stop now!”

Just as he realized the words seemed to be meant for him, the officer from the passenger side rushed forward and tackled him to the ground.

“Don’t know how to listen, do you?” he said in Logan’s ear.

Logan had to fight the instinct to struggle to get free. As much as he wanted to catch the guy who’d hurt Tooney, he knew enough not to mess with the cops.
Learn more about the book and author at Brett Battles' website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue