Friday, August 30, 2013

"Devil's Night"

Todd Ritter is the author of Death Notice, Bad Moon, and Devil's Night, the first novels in the mystery series featuring small-town police chief Kat Campbell. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, he now lives in suburban New Jersey.

Ritter applied the Page 69 Test to the newly released Devil's Night and reported the following:
Devil's Night starts off with a fire, which is appropriate, considering the book is about a serial arsonist torching buildings in the small town of Perry Hollow, Pa., during a 24-hour period.

The fire in question is at the town’s historical museum, and inside police find the body of Constance Bishop, head of the historical society. Even stranger, Constance was bludgeoned to death, apparently before the blaze. Even stranger than that, she was found in a crawl space under the museum’s floor, presumably going there on her own before dying. And even stranger than that, she was slumped over a wooden trunk that contained … another body.

It’s a baffling scenario, and on Page 69 of Devil's Night, police Chief Kat Campbell tries to make sense of it all with the help of medical examiner Wallace Noble. The scene isn’t heavy on action. It’s mostly dialogue as Kat and Wallace try to make sense of the nonsensical. But the conclusion Kat comes to at the bottom of the page — that poor Constance Bishop crawled onto that trunk right before she died to guarantee that it would be discovered later — has repercussions throughout the rest of the book.

“But why would she spend the final moments of her life doing that?” Wallace asks.

The rest of the book goes about answering that very question.
Learn more about the book and author at Todd Ritter's website.

My Book, The Movie: Death Notice.

Writers Read: Todd Ritter.

--Marshal Zeringue