Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"The Russian Bride"

Ed Kovacs is the author of the critically-acclaimed Cliff St. James mystery/crime series published by St. Martin’s Press. Kovacs has studied martial arts, holds many weapons-related licenses, certifications and permits, and is a certified medical First Responder. Using various pen names, he has worked professionally around the world as a screenwriter, journalist, and media consultant. He is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, American Legion Post 299, the International Thriller Writers association, and Mystery Writers of America.

Kovacs applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Russian Bride, and reported the following:
The only copy of The Russian Bride that I have on this deployment to Eastern Europe is an ARC, Advanced Reading Copy. So I don't know if my page 69 will match up with page 69 in the hardback edition or e-book, but here goes.

The first half of the page completes the introductory description of my female lead, Yulana Petkova, a bona fide exotic-looking femme fatale. Page 69 tells us we're in Moscow, and gives a bit more than just a physical description of Yulana:
And like with many Russian women, her demeanor was tempered by a tough undercurrent. It was like an electrified third rail running along the tracks that was best left untouched. Was it the stereotype of the morose, depressed Russian showing itself? Or was her face betraying the suggestion that she didn’t want to be here any more than Bennings did? Or was her dark expression simply the result of her life experience? Of heartbreak, betrayal, and hard work and a longing for escape to something, anything better than whatever it was that held her in its clutches. Maybe for Yulana, it was a little bit of all of the above; she looked as though she could literally feel her inner hard edge, as naturally as she could feel a pebble in her shoe.
The second half of the page switches to Yulana's POV, and we learn from her inner dialogue that she's no push-over, and doesn't think too highly of the book's hero, Kit Bennings, whom she's just met. But then we learn she's about to be married to Bennings, and that Yulana is in some kind of jam.

The last paragraph provides some nice foreshadowing:
“Congratulations. You are now married,” said the clerk in Russian. To Yulana, the clerk's tone sounded like he had just pronounced a death sentence. And maybe he had.
So my heroine has just married a total stranger, an act that might result in her death. Sounds to me like page 69 has delivered the goods for a reader to keep reading this fast-paced espionage thriller.
Learn more about the book and author at Ed Kovacs's website.

--Marshal Zeringue