Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Every Hidden Fear"

Linda Rodriguez’s new book is Every Hidden Fear, third Skeet Bannion novel. Her second Skeet mystery, Every Broken Trust, was a selection of Las Comadres National Latino Book Club and is currently a finalist for both the International Latino Book Award and the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize. Her first Skeet novel, Every Last Secret, which won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, was a Barnes & Noble mystery pick and a finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” which appeared in Kansas City Noir (Akashic Books), has been optioned for film. For her books of poetry, Skin Hunger and Heart’s Migration, Rodriguez received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Midwest Voices and Visions Award, Thorpe Menn Award, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, and Macondo and Ragdale Fellowships. She is immediate past president of the Borders Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, and International Thriller Writers.

Rodriguez applied the Page 69 Test to Every Hidden Fear and reported the following:
Leading up to page 69 of Every Hidden Fear, my protagonist Skeet Bannion has been dealing with a variety of difficult situations. Her Cherokee grandmother’s moved in with Skeet and her adopted son, Brian. Brian is suddenly dealing with unrequited love. A wealthy developer who was once a poor boy in town has returned to build a huge mall that will destroy the town’s existing businesses and has claimed paternity of the teenaged son of the town’s leading couple.

Then, she sets off for her usual early morning run, only to find her friend Joe, head of the town’s police force, trying to join her as part of his new unwelcome campaign to woo her. This made her almost welcome the body they found on the golf course they ran past—until she saw it was the developer, Ash Mowbray, and realized how this would affect so many people she cared about.

On page 69, she’s come home late for breakfast and told Gran and Brian what she found.
“Are they looking at Noah and his family?” asked Gran as she polished off her single piece of bacon.

I shook my head at her, but Brian had stopped eating to stare at me.

“They won’t think Noah did it, will they?”

“They have to look at everybody who had any grudge against him.” I got up to pour myself more coffee and refilled Gran’s cup, as well. “And he went out of his way to give a lot of people grudges against him. So they’ll be looking at a lot of people for this.”

I leaned back against the kitchen counter for a minute. “They’ll probably question Noah and his folks, but that doesn’t mean anything in a case with this many people angry at the victim.”

Brian nodded, looking relieved, and turned back to the food. “Do either of you want the last piece of bacon?”

Gran leaned back in her chair and looked up at me. “That man’s going to keep on making trouble for everyone, even from the grave, isn’t he?”
This case is not Skeet’s murder to investigate, for which she’s grateful, but Skeet’s about to be caught off guard in a big way when Ash Mowbray’s unpleasantly complicated murder is dumped in her lap to solve. Her friends and neighbors and the boyfriend of the girl Brian loves are all involved in one way or another, and Skeet must untangle all their motives and lies before someone innocent pays a horrible price—or the killer kills again.

So page 69 is the beginning of a turning point in the novel where Skeet will take up this murder to solve and find it entangled with and made more difficult by all those problem situations she’s already juggling.
Find Linda Rodriguez on Twitter, on Facebook, and on blogs with The Stiletto Gang, Writers Who Kill, and her own blog.

--Marshal Zeringue