Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Broken Bonds"

New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper is a former high-school and college English teacher. Winner of the 2005 Mary Higgins Clark Award for her outstanding novel, Dark Angel, Harper is the author of numerous romantic suspense novels, historical novels, and a series of historical mysteries.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Broken Bonds, book #3 in The Cold Creek Trilogy, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Broken Bonds is the middle of a scene where the two main point-of-view characters, the hero and heroine, get to know each other better. They are at a restaurant and he says, "No more talking about fracking, poor kids, or how we met." That picks up on the way they met, which was she saved him from being shoved off a cliff in Appalachia. She's dedicated to helping poor mountain kids. But their relationship--and the crime they try to solve together--is going to be a hard climb. The page also introduces a character who played a large part in the previous novel, but it also a possible perp in this book.

(The one time I was blessed to meet P.D. James, she told me never have more than 3 suspects or you won't be able to do them justice. Needless to say I took her advice!)

The book has a lot of action scenes, but this isn't one of them--at least not physical action, but a lot--from the author's view--is going on. Plot, character, themes--yikes, what a juggling act! Would the reader read on from this page? Probably only if it's part of the previous pages, which is the way it works.

And, oh yes, the book does claim to be romantic suspense, so there are hints of both on this page. It gives the reader a moment to breathe between the grabber opening and the "it's-going-to-be-a-rocky-ride" rest of the book.
Visit Karen Harper's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue