Monday, January 7, 2019

"The Burglar"

Thomas Perry's novels include the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and A String of Beads), Death Benefits, Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the prestigious Edgar Award.

Perry applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Burglar, and reported the following:
I’ve applied this test to a number of my books over the years, but this is the first time when page 69 happened to be the final page of a chapter, and therefore, shorter than a full page. It still seems to work.

On this page, the burglar protagonist Elle Stowell, is bargaining with a fence named Steinholm in the workshop at what used to be his father’s jewelry store. They’ve reached an impasse on a diamond necklace she’s got. He wants some of the loose diamonds now, but claims he can’t pay her for a month. Elle’s reply:

“Now you’re starting to piss me off.” He snatched up the pistol and fired a round at the concrete floor that ricocheted upward and threw concrete chips toward the far wall. He looked at her as though that had settled it and set the gun down.

She pulled her own pistol and fired it into the ceiling above their heads, then instantly brought it down, already aimed at his chest. “No sale.” She glared at him as she backed all the way to the door, keeping the red dot of the laser sight on his chest. She felt for the knob without looking at it, opened the door, sidestepped out, ran to her car, and drove off.
This is a fairly typical scene. Elle is young, small, and easy to underestimate, but she’s been on her own, stealing to eat since she was 14.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue