Thursday, September 24, 2020

"The Girl in the White Van"

April Henry is the New York Times-bestselling author of 25 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.

Henry applied the Page 69 Test to her newest novel, The Girl in the White Van, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Jenny grabbed my shoulder. With a twist, I shook her hand loose and made for the door in the far wall. Its window was also covered. I grabbed the handle.

“Don’t open that!” Jenny said urgently behind me.

I turned the handle and pushed. It started to open, revealing a sliver of light. Cold air rushed in though the crack. Metal rattled. I was already moving my foot to step outside when the door’s movement abruptly stopped. The gap was only about three inches wide. In frustration, I bashed the door with my shoulder, ignoring how it set off echoes of pain. But the door refused to budge.

Putting my eye to the gap. I caught a glimpse of a heavy metal chain that was preventing it from opening all the way. Below it was dark, muddy ground. “Help! Help us!” I shouted through the opening. Suddenly the door vibrated under my palm when something scrabbled and scratched at the metal. And in the gap I saw a dark and terrible eye, a monster’s eye with no white at all.

It tried to thrust its head in further, just below my face. A growl filled the room. With a shriek, I pulled back. The dog’s mouth snapped open and closed, black rimmed lips stretched over long white teeth. Silvery threads of saliva bound together the top and bottom canines.

Jenny pushed me away with one hand while she wrenched the door closed with the other. Outside, the dog began to bark, angry and urgent.

“I told you not to do that!” She brought her hands to her stitched-together face. Her nails were ragged, bitten to the quick. “Did Rex bite you?”
Page 69 is a great reflection of my book: two kidnapped girls, strangers to each other trapped together, realizing just how hard it is going to be to escape their situation.

Now if page 69 was perfect, it would also include the main character Savannah taking inspiration from Bruce Lee, and a glimpse of the man who took them both.
Learn more about the book and author at April Henry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue