Monday, April 1, 2013

"The Missing File"

D. A. Mishani is an Israeli crime writer, editor and literary scholar, specializing in the history of detective fiction.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Missing File, his first novel and the first in a series featuring the police inspector Avraham Avraham, and reported the following:
I clearly remember writing page 69, the last page of the 4th chapter in The Missing File.

The chapter is told through the perspective of a school teacher, a neighbor of Ofer, the boy gone missing in the beginning of the novel. The neighbor, Ze'ev, joins the searches and tries to approach Inspector Avraham Avraham, my protagonist, who leads the investigation.

What does he want? It's not clear, not even to him. And did I know then? Not entirely. I had a vague idea - I knew he needed to tell him something important about the missing boy – but until he spoke to Inspector Avraham, I wasn't sure why. When both my characters finally met and talked, I was surprised by what they said.

On page 69 Ze'ev is on his way back home, leaving the searches after this short conversation. Suddenly, he remembers he told the police Inspector something he shouldn't have said. I think it's then that he understands he got himself involved in something that he may not know how to get out of. He embroiled himself in this investigation in a way that he didn't foresee.

I think I also understood then I was embroiled in this search more than I let myself know before - and that I was going to finish this novel, my first one. I couldn't leave Avraham anymore, nor Ze'ev or Ofer, the missing boy. Maybe this sentence from p. 69, about Ze'ev, also refers to me: "He could feel a sense of gloom spreading through him (…) was it because he had suddenly understood the seriousness of his actions?"
Learn more about the book and author at D. A. Mishani's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Missing File.

--Marshal Zeringue