Thursday, August 6, 2020

"Convince Me"

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; the second novel in the series, The Empty Bed, came out earlier this year.

Sadowsky applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Convince Me, and reported the following:
Page 69 is the opening of Chapter 13 of Convince Me. Over the course of the page newly-widowed Annie reminiscences about her courtship with her husband, Justin. The novel begins at Justin's funeral with a broken-hearted Annie remembering their first meeting, and in this later chapter Annie recounts being "dazed and dizzy" with love as their relationship progressed. The chapter culminates with Justin's overtly dramatic marriage proposal.

The page passes the browser test. And yet it doesn't. The novel is told from three perspectives: Justin's widow Annie's, and also that of Justin's mother, Carol, and his best friend, Will. Each character must come to terms with the fact that the charming, charismatic and generous man they knew in life is revealed to be a pathological liar upon his death, one who left behind a trail of embezzlement, false accustation, suicide and murder. The page pases the browser test in that it reveals Annie completely under the sway of Justin, but fails to pass the browser test in that it doesn't reveal anything about the flip side. Not only does Annie have to come to terms with who her beloved husband really was, she has to summon the strength to learn exactly how and why he died. The page also fails the test in that it doesn't reveal anything from Will or Carol's perspective.

I wrote this book faster than I've ever worked. It poured out of me, fueled by rage at the havoc pathological liars are wreaking on our society. I felt the entire plot, including the device of writing from the three perspectives of people who thought they knew a dead man best, explode into my head like an arrow, which I then pulled inch by inch onto the page. Despite my rage, or maybe because of it, it was the most fun I've ever had writing. I hope readers have every bit as much fun.
Visit Nina Sadowsky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue