Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Freebie: "Panopticon" by David Bajo

Congratulations to Sarah Rocklin, winner of Sena Jeter Naslund's Adam & Eve, last week's Friday Freebie.

This week, I'm teaming up with Unbridled Books to give away a copy of Panopticon, the new novel by David Bajo.  From the book jacket:
As the California borderland newspaper where they work prepares to close, three reporters are oddly given assignments to return to stories they’ve covered before—each one surprisingly personal.  The first assignment takes reporter Aaron Klinsman and photographer Rita Valdez to an abandoned motel room where the mirrors are draped with towels, bits of black tape cover the doorknobs, and the perfect trace of a woman’s body is imprinted on the bed sheets.  From this sexually charged beginning—on land his family used to own—Klinsman, Rita, and their colleague, Oscar Medem understand that they are supposed to uncover something.  They just don’t know what.
That woman's body "imprinted on the bed sheets" intrigued me, so I started reading the first chapter and found this evocative passage where Klinsman, alone in the motel room, is taking pictures of the scene:    
     The double bed was made, but the thin cover, like milk skin, was wrinkled with the pattern left by a napping body, someone primly resting, gathering strength for a night out.  With one arm outstretched, Klinsman held his camera above the bed and took a picture of the imprint.  It was difficult to get the camera right above the pattern because the person who had been there had rested just off center.  The pattern was intricate, swirled but contained like a fingerprint.
     It was a woman.  He could tell from the shape of the hips.  Her hands had been clasped together over her stomach because he could see where her elbows had rested, little cups in the cloth on either side of her form.  The cover was that sensitive, like a kind of photo plate, he thought, some silvery glass.  Her heels, too, had left matching egg cups in the cloth.
If you'd like to have a chance at delving deeper into the mystery of that motel room, all you have to do is answer this question (which is more like a poll than a trivia question this week):

Of the books shown on the Unbridled Books homepage, which one would you be most interested in reading?

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  In order to give everyone a fair shake in the contest, please e-mail the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  The contest closes at midnight on Oct. 21, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Oct. 22.

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