Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pg. 69: Susan Arnout Smith's "The Timer Game"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Susan Arnout Smith's The Timer Game.

About the book, from the publisher:
Grace Descanso was going to be a pediatric heart surgeon--she was a brilliant up-and-comer with a bright future in a heartbreaking, innovative field. Then she took two months off to work in a clinic in Guatemala, and something happened there that nearly destroyed her. She won’t talk about why, but she quit medicine and nearly killed herself with drink. Finally, inch by inch, she pulled it all together for her new baby girl. Now, five years later, though she’s sworn off practicing as a doctor, Grace is using her science background as a crime scene tech in San Diego and going to AA meetings, scraping by and living to be a mom to five-year-old Katie.

Everything falls apart again when in the middle of processing a crime scene Grace shoots a madman after he’s killed two of her colleagues and after he’s called her by name, in a bizarre kind of warning, about someone he called “the Spikeman.” A day later, her daughter is kidnapped right out from under her, and instead of a ransom note, the kidnapper sends her on a harrowing twenty-four-hour scavenger hunt, laying out clues and giving out deadlines, leading her carefully, terrifyingly closer to Katie--and to him.

The Timer Game is a pulse-pounding race-against-time novel of suspense from a talented writer.
Among the praise for The Timer Game:
The Timer Game is a highly entertaining, intelligent, original yet classic medical thriller. Susan Arnout Smith has written a gem here--memorable characters and a fast and furious ticking-clock plot. A really good read!”
--John Lescroart, author of The Suspect

“As riveting as a ticking bomb, The Timer Game by Susan Arnout Smith will chill you, thrill you, and satisfy your deepest cravings for adventure. Smith is more than a terrific writer; she's a master in the making. Read this book.”
--Gayle Lynds, author of The Last Spymaster

“Susan Arnout Smith's The Timer Game is a gripping thriller with a resourceful heroine. Having mysteriously given up a promising career as a doctor, Grace is now a forensic biologist with the San Diego police and bringing up a five-year old daughter on her own. After a sinister warning, someone kidnaps the child and taunts Grace with the game she plays with her - finding hidden clues before a timer runs out. If she fails to find each clue, the girl will be killed. In her frantic race against the clock she discovers that she cannot trust even the people closest to her. The theme is familiar, but there are some original twists and heart-pounding moments before the exciting climax.”
--The Sunday Telegraph

“Smith's writing rises above the mediocre level of many thrillers, and her insights, such as "None of us escapes this world undamaged," strike home. And much of the action takes place on Halloween, which adds a ghoulish touch and heightens the tension. With an intelligent, literate plot and a fully drawn heroine, "The Timer Game" portends great things from Smith. And readers will want her to hurry.”
--Jay Strafford, Richmond Times Dispatch

“Explosive and terrifying, The Timer Game, an original novel with provocative themes and compelling characterizations, moves along at a pulse-pounding pace. Filled with stomach-churning images and guaranteed to satisfy readers hungry for a fast and furious thriller, The Timer Game is a commendable debut novel from a writer who knows how to write an entertaining, intelligent, and really good medical thriller.”
--Tim Davis, Book Loons
Read an excerpt from The Timer Game.

Learn more about the author and her work at The Timer Game website, Susan Arnout Smith's website, her blog, and MySpace page.

Susan Arnout Smith is an award–winning playwright, scriptwriter, and novelist.

The Page 69 Test: The Timer Game.

--Marshal Zeringue