Friday, September 21, 2018

"A Study in Honor"

Claire O'Dell grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, in the years of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal. She attended high school just a few miles from the house where Mary Surratt once lived and where John Wilkes Booth conspired for Lincoln to die. All this might explain why she spent so much time in the history and political science departments at college. O'Dell currently lives in Manchester, CT with her family and two idiosyncratic cats.

O'Dell applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, A Study in Honor, and reported the following:
From page 69:
The device before me was an ugly collection of metal rods with boxlike compartments at the knee and ankle, which housed the primitive electronics, and a foot that looked like blunt pedal. The last time I had seen a device like this, it was over ten years ago, and even then it had been an outdated model. The thing enabled her to walk, but not much more. If she had been a dancer, a nurse, she would have lost her career. As it was, she could only stand two hours at a time.

But that was life for our soldiers these days. That was our whole economy tumbling down into the black hole called the New Civil War.
A Study in Honor is the first entry in my new SF/Mystery series about Dr. Janet Watson and Special Agent Sara Holmes. Watson is newly discharged from the US New Civil War, after she lost her arm to an enemy sniper. Until she can wrangle a new prosthetic device from the government, she returns to DC and takes a job as a medical technician at the VA Medical Center. In this scene, she meets Private Belinda Díaz, who lost her leg to an IED, and who is trying to reclaim her own life.

It's a brief scene, but it captures all the important elements of the book: the seemingly never-ending newar, the plight of veterans, the crumbling economy. It's also the first clue of a mystery that both Watson and her Holmes must solve.
Visit Claire O’Dell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue