Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Third Party"

Brandi Reeds is a critically acclaimed author whose novel of psychological suspense, Trespassing, was an Amazon Charts bestseller. She also writes young adult novels under the pseudonym Sasha Dawn, whose Blink garnered an Edgar nomination. Her debut psychological thriller, Oblivion, was chosen as one of the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens, recommended by the School Library Journal, endorsed by the American Library Association, and selected by the 2016 Illinois Reading Council as a featured book. Reeds earned her BA in history and English from Northern Illinois University, followed by an MA in writing from Seton Hill University. When not working on her next book, she works as a kitchen design consultant and cabinetry specialist. She’s also an avid traveler, reader, and dance enthusiast. A Chicago native, Reeds currently lives in the northern suburbs with her husband, daughters, and puppies.

Reeds applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Third Party, and reported the following:
From page 69:
He paid her initial membership fee, an exorbitant $1,000, and a guard—a tower of a man whose shirt was labeled PAGE—gave her a special card with scanner code and a gold bracelet with the same code stamped on the underside. “You’ll need both to enter,” the page said. “Guard them with your life.”

Then, Arlon paid the cover charge, an additional $200. Each.

And the moment she and Arlon set foot on the subterranean level of the Aquasphere Underground, Margaux’s nerves awakened.

She felt the music in her bones, and the beat settled deep down in places she wasn’t supposed to talk about. Instantly, her flesh was dewy with the heat of the room, and she swayed against her new acquaintance’s body.

The place smelled of something sweet, like cotton candy, and scantily clad waitresses roamed the floor with test tubes of a glowing purple liquid.

“Aphrodisiac,” Arlon told her when she asked what it was.

And the next she knew, she was throwing one back.
Third Party opens with the scene of Margaux’s apparent suicide. Interlaced with the first-person narrative of two women unconvinced she took her own life, are excerpts detailing Margaux’s life before her death. Page 69 conveys the eerie undertones of our victim’s existence. This page represents both her grip on her own decision-making ability, and the control she’s about to lose.

In many ways, or at least in an ethereal sense, page 69 represents what many of us encounter as we reach the brink of change—the line in the sand that indicates before and after in our lives—which is one of the dominant themes in the novel. That said, page 69 is laced with sexuality and sensuality, so maybe it’s an overly-specific representation of one particular before and after, but if we boil it down to the moment we’re faced with a decision and the split second we decide to make it, page 69 is indeed indicative of the underlying message: once you cross that line, you can’t rewind time.
Visit Brandi Reeds's website.

My Book, The Movie: Third Party.

--Marshal Zeringue