Saturday, October 31, 2020

"The Russian Pink"

Matthew Hart is a veteran writer and journalist, and author of seven books, including the award-winning Diamond. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Granta, the London Times, and Vanity Fair, and he has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, and the National Geographic Channel. He lives in New York City.

Hart applied the Page 69 Test to The Russian Pink, his first novel, and reported the following:
.I’m OK with the browser dumping a reader onto page 69. It’s the end of a chapter— a five-line fragment. Here’s the first sentence: "It took me a moment to recognize what I was looking at, and when I did a block of ice formed around my heart.” With this, Treasury agent Alex Turner is thrust forward into one of the most harrowing passages of the book. I can’t say more than that, because the twist is supposed to send a shiver up the reader’s spine, and I hope it will, so I wouldn’t want to give it away.

The pace of the book is swift, so in that sense, the sudden shock of what happens in the moment of page 69 and immediately after, resembles other plot turns, where I want to deliver information with a sense of cinematic rush, so that the reader is present in the front row, so to speak, really watching the action unfold and the characters struggle to master it.
--Marshal Zeringue