Thursday, March 2, 2017

"What You Break"

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the noir poet laureate in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the New York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone series. He also writes the Gus Murphy series for Putnam. The first novel in that series, Where It Hurts, is nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2016. He is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award and four-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards. He lives on Long Island.

Coleman applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, What You Break, and reported the following:
When most people from outside New York picture Long Island, they conjure up images of the Hamptons, the Gold Coast, Montauk, the North fork wineries, Gatsby staring longingly at light at the end of Daisy’s dock. But that’s not the Long Island I know. As I have said many times, I live in Suffolk County, the same county as the Hamptons, but the Hamptons might as well be on Mars. A crucial aspect of the Gus Murphy series (Where It Hurts, What You Break) is the physical nature of Long Island and how the physical nature of the island impacts its citizens sociologically and economically. This passage from page 69 is a perfect example of that. I will let the passage speak for itself rather than explaining.
… Spicy’s chicken, ribs, and collards were top shelf, according to the cops who worked the Fifth Precinct. And the place was probably the only spot where the citizens of North Bellport and Bellport crossed paths. Those railroad tracks might just as well have been a wall or a moat, but you didn’t need physical barriers when economic ones were just as effective and far less conspicuous. That was how segregation worked on Long Island.

I drove with my windows down to take advantage of the rare warmth of the day. Only a few seconds after taking the right fork off Montauk onto South Country Road, I could smell ocean almost as if I was standing on the beach. I didn’t know whether it was because we were surrounded by Long Island Sound on the north and the Atlantic on the south that we were nose-blind to the smell of sea water or because most of us lived along the spine of the island, just one side or the other off the LIE, far away from any body of water larger than an in-ground pool…
Visit Reed Farrel Coleman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Where It Hurts.

--Marshal Zeringue