Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Lone Wolf"

Sara Driscoll is the joint pseudonym of Jen J. Danna and Ann Vanderlaan.

They applied the Page 69 Test to Lone Wolf, the first book in their FBI K-9s mysteries series--starring search-and-resuce team Meg Jennings and her black lab, Hawk--and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Next!” The voice was flat, dull, worn down by weeks of nearly there tax deadline hysteria.

The line shuffled forward again. Naomi nudged the diaper bag at her feet, pushing it ahead of them as they crept forward. Only three more people and then it was their turn.

Joe’s whimper accompanied a whole body squirm. She clamped her arms around him, familiar with this move and how he’d nearly managed to slither free a few times before. The pressure of her hold only increased his distress and he started to whine. Heat rose in her face as sideways glances began to slide her way.

What kind of parent are you? Can’t you control that child? Who’s in charge—you or the kid? The crowd’s unvoiced thoughts rang in her head.

“Ignore them. Ignoooooooore them...” she singsonged to herself, bouncing him again. It’s too early, naysayers advised, but she knew the reason he’d been up half the night was his one-year molars coming in. Her normally placid baby was riding a razor’s edge of exhaustion right now.

And, as a result, so was she. Never a good combination.
Page 69 of Lone Wolf lands the reader in scene many of us have been unlucky enough to be in ourselves—waiting in what feels like an unending line in a government office. In this case, it’s an IRS office on the day before taxes are due, and a young mother is in line with her squirmy, overtired baby because she needs assistance filing her deceased father’s final tax return.

Lone Wolf is the story of a rogue bomber who is taking out specific targets, and the IRS office is on his list. In fact, as this scene unfolds, the bomb is already on its way, heading toward the IRS office while people stand in line, not realizing their lives are hanging in the balance. While the overwhelming majority of the book is about the FBI’s efforts to find and stop the bomber and this scene doesn’t highlight FBI handler Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue black Lab, Hawk, it does shine a light on the victims. And truth to be told, it’s the loss of the victims that drives the story. So while page 69 might not show the protagonists, it delivers on something more important—the reason the protagonists work so hard to find justice for innocents caught up in something far beyond their control.

As to what happens to Naomi and her young son when the bomber strikes, well… you’ll just have to read on from page 69 to find out.
Learn more about Lone Wolf: An FBI K-9 Novel.

--Marshal Zeringue