Saturday, October 27, 2012

"The Witch of Babylon"

D. J. McIntosh’s The Witch of Babylon has been sold in nineteen countries, was short-listed for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award, and won a Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished novel.

McIntosh applied the Page 69 Test to The Witch of Babylon and reported the following:
From page 69:
Laurel eased herself up and walked over to a credenza pushed against the wall. Every inch of its marble top was covered with stacks of file folders and documents along with some dusty photos sitting beside her computer. One of these, her wedding picture, showed a bride with high cheekbones, a slight Slavic tilt to her green eyes giving her face a faintly exotic look, satiny brown hair, swept up. She was dressed simply in a white satin sheath, holding a spray of white roses and baby’s breath. Beside her, Hal, ramrod straight in a severe black suit, looked uncomfortable, as though he already knew the marriage was doomed to fail. Like some omnipresent ghost, Hal’s mother Mina, a little blurry but clearly identifiable, could be seen in the background. Laurel saw me looking at the photo. “Do you know there isn’t one wedding picture with just the two of us? Mina always lurked somewhere, making sure she was in the shot.
The nexus of conflict in thrillers often focuses on how wrong relationships between people can go and much of the action in The Witch is about just these kind of conflicts. Betrayal, loss, jealousy, the crumbling edifice of a marriage destined for grief from the start, lie at the heart of both the novel’s puzzles and its catastrophic outcome. The stakes are always higher where family ties are broken. The book’s protagonist, John Madison, with family troubles of his own, steps into Hal, Lauren and Mina’s spoiled world, unaware of the consequences to him. And even when it concerns the affairs of a famous and historic king, family repercussions from the loss of a much loved daughter give birth to a legend that lasts centuries.
Learn more about the book and author at D.J. McIntosh's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue