Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"The Lakehouse"

Joe Clifford is the author of several books, including The One That Got Away, Junkie Love, and the Jay Porter Thriller Series, as well as editor of the anthologies Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen; Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, and Hard Sentences, which he co-edited.

Clifford applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Lakehouse, and reported the following:
On page 69 of The Lakehouse (at least the ARC!), there is a conversation between (one of three) protagonist(s), Tracy Somerset and her best friend Diana about Tracy’s chance meeting with a new handsome stranger, Todd Norman, who may or may not be a murderer…

Yes, this scene envelops the central mystery of the novel, namely whether Tracy and Todd can find true love … or if the latter is a killer.

I’m surprised by how well this 69 test works! Despite the book’s being about small-town secrets and unseen violence, The Lakehouse, at its heart, is a love story, albeit a potentially deadly one. It’s also about friendship and the bonds tested, which is encapsulated in this conversation between Tracy and Diana. And of course there is the lingering specter of Todd Norman (who is not one of the POV characters). How the residents of Covenant, CT, the fictional Central Connecticut where the novel takes place, view Todd depends on the observer. Tracy is a character who has been hurt before, and she has to make a choice whether to trust again. And Todd Norman presents a huge challenge.
Visit Joe Clifford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue