Wednesday, June 19, 2019

"The Perfect Plan"

Bryan Reardon is the author of Finding Jake and The Real Michael Swann. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Bryan worked for the State of Delaware for more than a decade, starting in the Office of the Governor. He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife and kids.

Reardon applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Perfect Plan, and reported the following:
From page 69:
"I'm busy, Liam. You know that. I can't afford anything going wrong right now."

"It's cool," I say. "Everything's cool. I promise."

"It better be," he says. "I suggest you head home right now."

I keep staring at the car, the police, the guy with the beard.

"I will," I say, and hang up.
Page 69 of The Perfect Plan is short, the end of a chapter. The dialog could mean anything without the proper context. Maybe just a banal conversation between two brothers, Liam and Drew. Or maybe not. Liam might have just left a car in the middle of an intersection after getting into an altercation with the bearded man. The Jetta he abandoned could have been used in the abduction of a woman on Drew's gubernatorial campaign staff. In fact, it is the woman's car. And Liam is the one that abducted her.

The interaction above may be the start of a complex cat and mouse game. The kind that you're never sure who might be the villain. And who the hero. In life, though, there is rarely one or the other. Instead, we are both. Or neither. On page 69, it appears that Liam is the former and his brother the later. Maybe that perception will be flipped on its heels. Maybe they are both villains, and Drew's staffer is nothing but an innocent victim. Chances are, though, their story will lead to something very different. Because we are talking about the Brennan brothers. With them, nothing is as it appears.
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--Marshal Zeringue