Saturday, November 5, 2022

"City Dark"

Roger A. Canaff is a former special victims prosecutor and author of crime thrillers including Bleed Through, second in the ADA Alex Greco series and the 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin silver award winner for Mystery and Thriller.

Canaff applied the Page 69 Test to his newest novel, City Dark, and reported the following:
Page 69 of City Dark puts us in the tense, unsettling moment when Joe (the protagonist) and his older brother Robbie realize their mother isn’t coming back. It’s the night of July 13, 1977, and the blackout has struck New York City. It’s been nearly an hour since their car ran out of gas, and their mother Lois went off in search, telling them to remain in the car and wait. Now the darkness and heat have unnerved them both and Lois is nowhere to be found. The two boys, 15 and 10, are considering their options. They leave the car, emerge into the heavy air and eerily penetrating blackness, and contemplate for the first time striking out on their own through New York City.

Serendipitously, this page is a very accurate marker for what kind of book City Dark is. Page 69 happens to fall during one of the several flashback scenes that take the reader briefly from 2017 (where Joe, now 50, deals with late-stage alcoholism and becomes a murder suspect) to the terrifying night of the blackout that shaped both Joe and Robbie’s lives. Page 69 is the beginning of the boys’ transformation from frightened, powerless kids to apprehensive but determined young men. Their trek through Manhattan will prove brutal and harrowing; neither boy will emerge unscathed.

City Dark is a crime and legal thriller on two simultaneous tracks. The first is prosecutor Joe DeSantos’ journey through the last stages of a crippling alcohol addiction, and that coincides with his becoming a murder suspect after two bodies are found. Both have close ties to Joe, but due to his alcoholism, he is unable to remember his whereabouts on either night. The story tightens as Joe faces criminal charges and even questions his own innocence. Reluctantly, he accepts counsel from a brilliant attorney and friend, and the two seek to unravel a mystery that reaches back to his past. The second track is the night of the 1977 NYC blackout itself, where Joe and his older brother navigate the city in search of their mother and, ultimately, an escape from the darkness.
Visit Roger A. Canaff's website.

My Book, The Movie: City Dark.

--Marshal Zeringue