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The Page 69 test - Shroud of Evil

The first I heard of the page 69 test was when a member of the public approached me in a bookshop where I was doing a book signing and said she always applied it when deciding which crime novel to purchase. She didn’t buy one of my novels so I’d obviously failed to reach her exacting standards, whatever they were. I thrust it from my mind, only to be reminded of it recently when asked to contribute to a blog. So I browsed the Internet to find out who was responsible for this particular form of literary torture. The answer was the writer Marshall McLuhan championed more recently by John Sutherland in How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide. Do we really need instructions on how to read a novel?

Shroud of Evil - DI Andy Horton 11Anyway,as I had been asked to do I turned to Page 69 in the latest DI Andy Horton (no. 11), Shroud of Evil and duly applied the test.This is the scene between DI Andy Horton, my rugged and flawed detective, and the pathologist, the petite, auburn haired and feisty Dr Gaye Clayton when she is informing Horton that the victim was killed with a ….. no, hang on, that will spoil it for those who want to read the novel (if I’ve passed the test).

Horton is re-examining the time of death of Jasper Kenton, a private investigator, whose body has turned up on a beach belonging to Lord Richard Eames on the Isle of Wight wrapped in an old sail cloth, used as a shroud. Horton, estranged from his wife, is also examining his feelings for the pathologist, whom he’d never considered before as a possible lover. But he has more pressing concerns than that on his mind. He’s withheld vital information that could help crack the case because it is connected with the disappearance of his mother, Jennifer, just over thirty years ago, when he was ten. He fears that it is only a matter of time before his part in hindering a major investigation is exposed and that when it is it is certain to end his career.

Click here to read what's on Page 69 of Shroud of Evil

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Ambition, murder, adultery...  Horton has only a week to find a killer

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JUNE 5TH, 2014 @ 6:01:05 BST

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