Monday, January 27, 2020

"The Empty Bed"

A New York City native, Nina R. Sadowsky is an entertainment lawyer (in recovery) who has worked as a film and television producer and writer for most of her career.

Her debut thriller, Just Fall, was published by Ballantine in March 2016. Her second novel, The Burial Society, was published in 2018, and is the first of The Burial Society Series. Sadowsky's new novel, The Empty Bed, is the second book in the series.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Empty Bed and reported the following:
From page 69:
Her palm is slick with blood. She sets her belongings down and winds her scarf around her hand, applying pressure to stop the flow.

Shit. Now what?

Twenty minutes later, Eva’s sipping a steaming cup of green tea and nibbling on a custard bun in a dimly lit tea shop. What was he after?

Propelled by instinct, she scrolls backward through the photographs stored on the digital card of her Leica. The shot she took of the view from their hotel room. A couple of snaps in the Hong Kong airport. That bitch with the Pomeranian at the Sly Fox.

And, fuck. There he is. In the background of the shot of the woman and her dog is the man Eva just left bleeding in Hong Kong Park.

Heart pounding, Eva zooms in on him and his companion, both in gray suits, rep ties. The camera has captured their shared look of outraged surprise, as if her taking the pictures was a personal affront to them as well as to the angry blonde and her dandelion of a dog.

Maybe it was an affront. Maybe these are two men who shouldn’t be seen together. Is that why he tried to grab her camera? Frowning, Eva zooms in closer on the second guy’s face. It’s vaguely familiar to her; not like someone she knows, but like someone she ought to know. His identification dances tantalizingly on the edges of her consciousness. Still, she can’t quite place him.

But the other man in the picture has been following her; of that much she’s certain. She adds up the pieces: He trailed her to her home after she inadvertently took his photograph at the Sly Fox. Possibly tried to break into their house later that night. Followed her to Hong Kong. Attacked her with a knife. Why?

And is Pete involved? Why did he deny knowing her attacker, especially since she saw them interact twice? Is this why he was so condescending and dismissive?
This page is perfect for this exercise because the revelations that strike my character, Eva Lombard, during the course of the page are at the heart of one of the novel's intertwining story threads. Eva is swept away from London to Hong Kong by her husband Peter for a surprise anniversary trip, but just before their departure, Eva becomes convinced someone is following her and there is an attempted break-in at their home. When she confesses her fears to her husband, Peter belittles her, driving a further wedge between the couple who are already on shaky ground. In this scene, Eva has been the victim of an attempted mugging, her ever-present Leica camera the apparent target, and while she is determined to solve the mystery presented, she's becoming increasingly alarmed that Peter himself might be involved. When Eva disappears, Peter becomes a prime suspect. What really happened? Can this young couple overcome distrust and come together again? You'll have to read the book to find out!
Visit Nina Sadowsky's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Burial Society.

My Book, The Movie: The Burial Society.

--Marshal Zeringue