Friday, December 18, 2020

"Shed No Tears"

Caz Frear grew up in Coventry, England, and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the second finally came true. She has a degree in History & Politics, and when she’s not agonizing over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at Arsenal football matches or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about. Sweet Little Lies and Stone Cold Heart are her first two novels featuring DC Cat Kinsella.

Frear applied the Page 69 Test to the new book in the series, Shed No Tears, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Shed No Tears follows very soon after an early turning point (or story twist), and it finds the Murder Investigation Team slap bang in the middle of their first briefing regarding the murder of Holly Kemp. They have just received some surprising news about Kemp’s cause of death, which means it’s not quite the open-and-shut case they were hoping for. The years 2011 and 2012 are also mentioned on this page, so a browser would be instantly aware that they are dealing with a cold case.
Steele takes a slow, deep sigh, a preface to our second – dreaded – conclusion. “OK then, since you’ve brought up the unthinkable, let’s get it out in the open. Who’s going to say it?

Renee’s straight in there. “The witness was mistaken and someone else killed Holly Kemp.”
This is a pivotal couple of lines as they set the novel off down a very different path. What is largely missing from the page, though, is the main protagonist! The entire novel (and indeed the whole series) is told from Detective Constable Cat Kinsella’s first-person perspective, however she doesn’t feature very highly on page 69 and this is quite unusual. From page 69 alone, a browser could be forgiven for thinking the novel was more of ensemble piece.

While a page 69 browser may be a little confused to find themselves in the middle of a team meeting where theories are coming thick and fast from various different characters, I still think it’s a fair overall representation. Shed No Tears is a police procedural and page 69 certainly leaves you in no doubt about that. My stories also tend to be quite dialogue heavy, and the type of interplay between the characters shown here is repeated often throughout the story. Basically, if a browser enjoys the tone and pace of page 69, it’s likely they’ll enjoy the overall novel.
Follow Caz Frear on Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Sweet Little Lies.

The Page 69 Test: Stone Cold Heart.

--Marshal Zeringue