Wednesday, August 6, 2008

J.A. Konrath's "Fuzzy Navel"

J.A. Konrath is the author of the Jack Daniels mysteries: Dirty Martini, Rusty Nail, Bloody Mary, and Whiskey Sour.

He applied “Page 99 Test” to the new book in the series, Fuzzy Navel, and reported the following:
Fuzzy Navel was an unusual book to write. The action takes place within an eight hour period, and every minute is accounted for. In order for it to work, I used eight different point-of-views in the story. While this is a Lt. Jack Daniels thriller and she remains the main character, on page 99 we're in her partner's head. In this scene, Herb is covering for Jack, who left a crime scene because something is going wrong at home. Herb is being grilled by Chicago's deputy chief on Jack's whereabouts. Much of the book is action oriented, and this is lighter to break up some of the tension.

Page 99 of Fuzzy Navel:

“She’s not hiding anything, sir. It went down like I said.”

“I still need her statement. There’s blood in the water, and the sharks are circling the wagons.”

Herb has no idea what that means, and he guesses the Grouch doesn’t either. But he can’t let the Deputy Chief find out that Jack lives outside the city.

“She’s not at her apartment,” Herb says. “She’s with her mother. Her elderly, sickly, mother.”

“Her mother is sick?” the Grouch asks.

“Very sick.”

“Which hospital is she in? I can meet—”

“She’s sick in the head,” Herb says.

“Is it pyromania?” the Grouch asks.


“I had an aunt with pyromania. She’d knit sweaters, then set them on fire.”

Herb tries to judge if the Grouch is being funny, but he sees a tear in the corner of the man’s eye.

“I think she’s just failing mentally,” Herb says. “Jack ran out to the suburbs to check on her.”

“Do you know where?”

Herb shakes his head. The Grouch gets in close, so close his pointy nose almost touches Herb’s. Herb rears back slightly, afraid he’ll lose an eye.

“I will bring your partner before a disciplinary committee if I don’t hear from her within the hour. So if you have any clue where she might be, Sergeant, I suggest you find her.”

“Jack saved lives today,” Herb says, his voice steady.

“I don’t care if she saved the mayor’s daughter from being eaten by sharks...”

What is with this guy and sharks?

“...I want her debriefed right now. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir,” Herb says.

The Grouch backs off a few feet.

“Good. Now I’ve got to talk to the media. They’re having a field day with their cockamamie theories.”

“Are they jumping the shark?” Herb asks innocently.
Learn more about the book and author at J.A. Konrath's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fuzzy Navel.

--Marshal Zeringue