Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pg. 69: "Stripped"

Brian Freeman's debut novel Immoral received some very impressive praise, including:
“One hell of a read, gut-wrenching and exciting.”
-Ken Bruen, author of The Dramatist

"Breathtakingly real and utterly compelling, Immoral dishes up page-turning psychological suspense."
-Jeffery Deaver, author of The Twelfth Card
Now with his follow-on novel Stripped fresh in the bookstores, I asked Brian to subject the new book to the "page 69 test." Here is what he reported:
On page 69 of my latest novel, Stripped, Detective Jonathan Stride is interviewing a reclusive film producer about the death of his son in Las Vegas – and about events from the city’s seamy, glamorous Rat Pack days that may be connected to his son’s murder.

Is the scene representative of the book? Absolutely. One common theme in my novels is the way the past lives on and influences events in the present. In Stripped, I wanted a book that reflected the deep yearning in Las Vegas for a time when people like Sinatra ruled the city and summed up an entire era. But beware of what you wish for. The past echoes throughout Stripped, but it’s the dark, dangerous past that comes back, along with the glamour.

One paragraph from that page reflects my approach to thriller plotting: “Stride couldn’t help but think of the photo he’d found of Walker Lane in the 1960s: absurdly tall, a mop of blond hair, Clark Kent glasses. Cocksure, as if he would someday own the world, which he pretty much did today. The price he’d paid was chiseled in his voice.”

There’s always a price to pay. One thing that’s true about the past is that people always keep secrets about what really happened, and they’ll often lie and kill to protect them. Those secrets have a way of catching up with them, even years later.
Many thanks to Brian for the input.

Click here to read an excerpt from Stripped.

Curious about what it's like to be on a book tour? Check out Brian's blog: he charted the 4,000 miles recently logged promoting Stripped.

Stripped's early reviews are very promising:
"What sets the author apart are his rich, complex characters... Recommended for fans of Harlan Coben, who will enjoy the compelling cast and swift sinuous plot."

Booklist (starred review)

"Freeman consistently hits his thriller marks, keeping the action coming and the tension high... The height of guilty pleasures."

Kirkus Reviews

"Freeman's ability to drop bombshells --- amply demonstrated in Immoral --- remains fully intact here, with each page becoming more and more explosive right up to the very end. Stripped will only enhance Freeman's reputation as a thriller craftsman; his talent runs strong and, to all appearances, deep. Make room on your bookcase for more.


"Freeman has crafted a strong narrative, rife with sex and violence."

Publishers Weekly
Julia Buckley interviewed Brian about "Promotion, Inspiration and The Long Road to Success"--click here to see how that turned out.

Previous "page 69 tests":
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