Saturday, April 9, 2011

"The Silenced"

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, and Shadow of Betrayal.

He applied the Page 69 Test to the new Jonathan Quinn novel, The Silenced, and reported the following:
Page 69 finds Quinn and his apprentice Nate waiting in position for a job that’s about to take place. It’s mostly a quiet page, but things just start to heat up near the end.

I love this page for a couple of different reasons. The first is that it’s part of a chapter where Quinn is on standby to do his normal job of getting rid of a body. I think it’s always interesting seeing him work, or, in this case, just waiting for the “go” signal to do his job. I also like how it shows the growing relationship between him and Nate, and how he has come to treat Nate almost as an equal. Granted, there are portions of The Silenced that have a lot more action, but there is tension here, and character revelations. Not a page to be skipped in my mind.

Quinn checked his watch. Seven minutes until show time.

“How long do you think it’ll take them?” Nate whispered.

Quinn kept his eyes on the dark house. “We’ll get the call at ten-oh-five.”

“My money’s on ten-oh-seven,” Nate said.

“Hundred bucks?” Quinn asked.

“Works for me.”

Quinn flexed his feet to keep his muscles warm as he wondered for the millionth time in the last hour how he could work a ‘minimum temperature’ clause into his job requirements.

“Car on slow approach,” a voice said over the radio. Not Donovan, one of his men.

“Which direction?” Donovan asked.

“From the east. Same car passed by a few minutes ago…still slowing…okay, stopping at the end of the driveway.”

“Everyone hold position,” Donovan said.

“Turning onto the driveway,” the voice said.

“Do you have a visual on who’s inside?” Donovan asked tersely, unable to keep the growing annoyance from his voice.

“Man up front, man and woman in the back.”

“We’re moving,” Quinn whispered to Nate.

His apprentice nodded, then stepped back so Quinn could take the lead. They headed twenty feet deeper into the woods, then west toward the corner of the property. There, they hunched down again, this time in a spot with a view of the front yard and the entrance to the house.
Learn more about the book and author at Brett Battles' website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Cleaner.

The Page 69 Test: The Deceived.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow of Betrayal.

--Marshal Zeringue