Thursday 9 August 2012

#OBSummer #Books - Ford 99 - Twitch & Die

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Genre - Action Thriller / Horror / Zombie 
Rating - PG13
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"For decades, readers have used the Page 99 Test to judge the writing of a book before buying it." - 

Call it a fortunate happenstance, but the 99th page of Twitch and Die! concludes with this line, "Chancho wondered how far the borders of the cemetery had spread, and if it was for only the dead any longer."

I'll admit it. I'm a tease. Twitch and Die! is at its core a sort of Grindhouse throwback that spends the first half of the book building the tension with a series of delicious yet abortive "Don't' go in there!" moments. It takes nearly 100 pages to finally arrive at the point of no return. The turning of the knob.

Then the second half of the story is a roller coaster death ride without any breaks. Intentionally dabbling with most readers' limit for non-stop action I endeavor to create a ruthless, out-of-breath lightheadedness. Hopefully this leads to euphoria more than outrage. (***shrug***)

Here on page 99 (if you're reading the paperback and not counting the bonus short story at the beginning), both the main plot arc and the main character arc are coming to a head. Chancho has been bad luck for those around him. Profoundly Catholic, he is a mystic as well as a bit superstitious. Entering the twitcher stronghold via an unguarded cemetery is both atmospheric as well as suggestive.

He sees the cemetery as a place of final rest for those who have lived their purpose. This strengthens him because he knows it is not yet his time to rest. At the same time he is haunted by the possibility of more compadres meeting an early demise.

Page 99 reiterates Chancho's deepest internal question, is he still fighting winless battles at the expense of others? Page 99 also launches the reader toward answers for key plot questions: what is the twitch? who will survive it? and what will that survival look like?

Welcome to Thurber, TX. The year is 1920. Go ahead, turn the knob. You know you want to.

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