Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pg. 69: Bill Cameron's "Lost Dog"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Bill Cameron's debut mystery, Lost Dog.

About the book, from the author's website:
Peter McKrall is at a crossroads — out of work, fighting a klepto habit, and trying to figure out his next move. Life takes an unexpected turn when a search for his niece’s stuffed dog leads him to something else entirely: a bullet-riddled corpse. Talking to reporters lands Peter on the local news, which turns out to be a dangerous spotlight. And now Darla, the troubled daughter of the victim, is reaching out to him — but can she be trusted? When a second murder takes place and evidence is planted in his trash, the cops dredge up Peter’s painful history. The only ray of sunshine in this harrowing nightmare is Ruby Jane, whose warm smile melts the winter chill.

An unwitting player in a bizarre chain of events, Peter has no idea that the deranged killer is after him — until he takes a shot at Ruby Jane.
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Set against the sodden backdrop of Portland, Oregon, Lost Dog tells of the intersection of one man's struggle against and another's embrace of powerful and self-destructive impulses.
Among the praise for Lost Dog:
"Lost Dog is an excellent debut filled with suspense, surprises, and memorable characters — and it captures Portland's quirkiness particularly well. I predict we'll be hearing more from the talented Bill Cameron."
--Alafair Burke, author of Dead Connection

Lost Dog by Bill Cameron is a beautifully written and masterful work of character-driven crime fiction. One of the most fascinating and compelling main characters I've read in a long time. A bad guy real enough to smell. A plot that fits together like a puzzle.

“I was starving for a personal story. Give me real people. Give me a story with truth. As soon as I started Lost Dog my heart began to beat faster. This was the book I'd been craving.

“Bill Cameron manages to deftly strip away the distance. Not only does he give us a knock-out plot, he gives us real people in real settings. He gives us characters we care about, characters we know and want to know. And like real life, the darkest moments often contain humor. I laughed out loud several times.

Lost Dog is a heart-stopping, tightly-woven debut by a remarkable new crime-fiction writer. Thank you, Bill Cameron.”
--Anne Frasier, USA Today Bestselling author of Pale Immortal and Hush

“In the chill of Portland at Christmastime, Bill Cameron weaves a story of murder, human frailty and the frightening reality of coincidence. Peter McKrall is in the wrong place at the wrong time, searching for a lost dog. Instead, he finds a dead body, and it begins a chain of events that lead McKrall, weakened by circumstances, into a web of violence that will force him to find his strength. Bill writes a compelling, layered tale with graceful prose, realistic scenery and dead-on dialogue. I really enjoyed Lost Dog. Bill Cameron can add me to his list of fans.”
--Julia Buckley, author of The Dark Backward
Read an excerpt from Lost Dog and visit Cameron's website -- where you can view a video trailer for the novel -- and his blog.

The Page 69 Test: Lost Dog.

--Marshal Zeringue