Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pg. 69: "Fear & Greed"

Lawrence Light is the Senior Editor in charge of money and investing for Forbes magazine, a post he assumed in late 1999, and the author of an acclaimed thriller series.

Larry put his latest novel, Fear & Greed, to the "page 69 test" and reported back:
Fear & Greed is the second in my Karen Glick mystery series published by Dorchester. The first is Too Rich To Live. Karen is a smart, sassy financial reporter who covers Wall Street for Profit, a big business magazine.

In Fear & Greed, powerful forces are scrambling to get their hands on the Goldring laptop, which predicts the stock market. And they will kill for it. Goldring was created by beautiful stockbroker Linda Reiner and her sisters. It has made them fabulously rich.

Page 69 is tolerably representative of the book. It begins a new scene. Goldring has been stolen and one of the Reiner sisters lies dead. Albert, a psychologically addled computer geek, sits with the magical laptop in his seedy apartment. The unobtainable Linda obsesses him, and he believes she will have him if he, too, becomes rich, via Goldring.

This is a dangerous delusion. Some very ruthless people are watching poor Albert and his prize laptop.

Page 69:

The phone rang yet again. Albert should have shut off the ringer. He reluctantly picked up.

His sister, overwrought as usual. "Why haven't you returned my calls? What's the matter with you?"

"Quit bothering me."

"I lend you $10,000 and you tell me to quit bothering you?"

"You'll have the money back in a week. With interest. I'm going to be a very rich man."

"You worry me," she said. "You haven't been keeping your appointments with Dr. Whetstone. Are you taking your medication?"

"None of your business."

"Albert, FBI agents came by and asked questions about you," Mimi said. "What kind of trouble are you in now?"

"I have to go." He sat entranced by the laptop before him.

"Did you hear that Linda Reiner's sister was shot and killed? They were interested in that." Mimi got shrill. "Did you have something to do with that, Albert? Tell me now."

He hadn't been listening and perked up only when she mentioned Linda. "Who was killed? What's this about Linda?"

"Did you do it?" Mimi blared with enough force to crumble the wax build-up in his ears.

He slammed down the phone. What had she been going on about?

The night gleamed through Albert's window, all that smug light from others' apartments. A mosaic of yellow-white windows from the nearby buildings spoke of happy men and women with love in their lives. Dominating the wall next to his sole window was a massive silkscreen he had made of Linda, lifted from the magazine story. That cost a lot of money, but was worth it. He devoted hours to looking at the picture worshipfully.
Many thanks to Larry for the input.

Among the praise for Fear & Greed:
"Witty, fast-paced and exciting."
--Christopher Reich, author of The Patriots Club

"Another winner. I couldn't stop turning the pages."
--Stephen Frey, author of The Power Broker

"Zooms along like a jet-fueled rollercoaster."
-- Joseph Finder, author of Killer Instinct
Fear & Greed has been chosen as one of the Best Crime Fiction novels of 2006 by January Magazine.

From Anthony Rainone's review:
There are enough surprises in Fear & Greed to keep readers from thinking they know all of what's ahead. The ending holds several shockers, one of which comes out of left field, and is overall plausible and ultimately deeply satisfying. Lawrence Light shows considerable talent in developing his characters and plot, and has a good command of pacing, with an eye for human fallibility and humorous situations. If this author chooses to focus on the illegal foibles of Wall Street, he will never encounter a dearth of material. That will be to every reader's benefit, for Light is a talent to keep your eye on.
Ladykiller, a darker thriller that Larry wrote with his wife, Meredith Anthony, will be published in April. And in June, his short story will appear in Wall Street Noir from Akashic Press.

Visit Larry Light's official website.

Previous "page 69 tests:"
Simon Read, In The Dark
Sandra Ruttan, Suspicious Circumstances
Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography
Alison Gaylin, You Kill Me
Gayle Lynds, The Last Spymaster
Jim Lehrer, The Phony Marine
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.
Debra Ginsberg, Blind Submission
Sarah Katherine Lewis, Indecent
Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
Danielle Trussoni, Falling Through the Earth
Andrew Blechman, Pigeons
Anne Perry, A Christmas Secret
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers
Kat Richardson, Greywalker
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue