Monday, December 24, 2018

"Liars' Paradox"

Taylor Stevens is a critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers including the breakout hit The Informationist. Best known for high-octane stories populated with fascinating characters in vivid boots-on-the-ground settings, her books have been optioned for film and published in over twenty languages. Her newest release, Liars’ Paradox, introduces twenty-six-year-old assassin twins, Jack and Jill, in a bone-jarring twist on cold war spy novels that the Dallas Morning News calls, “a truly high-energy page-turner of a thriller,” and Lee Child says is “the start of what could be the best new series in years.”

Stevens applied the Page 69 Test to Liars’ Paradox and reported the following:
From page 69:
Jack stretched a hand to her, offering to help her up. She recoiled and scrambled away.

He followed her. “Come on,” he said. “We’ll go together.”

“No,” she whispered.

“Together,” he said, stretching the word into three strong, emphasized syllables. “And anything Clare deals you, she’ll have to deal me, too. Together.”
All stories and all heroes have a history—the stuff that exists in a fictional universe before the first words in the opening scene touch that starting page. When a story is done right, all the history that matters will weave through the telling so that by the time the reader gets to the end he or she fully understands who the characters are and what drove them to the decisions and choices they made.

But in Liars’ Paradox, where we have twenty-six-year-old twin assassins searching for their paranoid and possibly delusional mother after her house has gone up in a fireball, the entire present only makes sense as it relates to the past—their own fractious childhoods from which their skillsets come—their mother’s history, without which the present wouldn’t exist.

Assembling these many pieces into a single flow without info dumps or clunking down the pacing with blocks of expository dialogue meant showing the past in real time through a second timeline. On page 69 we’re at the very tail end of one of those flashbacks, glimpsing one of the events driving the present day dysfunctional love-hate relationship between the siblings and between siblings and Clare, who has always been more mentor than mother.
Visit Taylor Stevens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue