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Does DI Andy Horton Footsteps on the Shore pass the Page 69 Test?

Footsteps on the Shore a DI Andy Horton crime novelOK so what is the Page 69 Test?  Is it some kind of police promotional ordeal for Andy Horton?  Or a macabre test set by an arch villain?  Neither.  It's a rather strange theory devised by the writer Marshall McLuhan championed more recently by John Sutherland in How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide. Not that I believe we really need instructions on how to read a novel but each to their own. The theory is that if a reader picks up a novel in a bookshop or library and applies the Page 69 Test and likes what they have read they will purchase or borrow the book.  Maybe that's true but for me, when choosing a new novel to read - and one by a writer previously unknown to me - I will read the blurb on the cover, turn to the first page and from there decide whether or not it is my cup of tea.

However for those who firmly believe in the Page 69 Test, here it is for Inspector Andy Horton police procedural, FOOTSTEPS ON THE SHORE, (6) in the series of  sixteen. This Andy Horton crime novel is one of my favourites.

Before I launch into Page 69 though here is a bit of blurb on FOOTSTEPS ON THE SHORE.

Friday the thirteenth begins badly for DI Andy Horton when he wakes to find his Harley has been vandalized and his boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss, has returned early from her secondment to HQ. Then, convicted murderer, Luke Felton, released on licence, is reported missing and a decomposed corpse is washed up in Portsmouth harbour. But before Horton can get a grip on either case, he’s called to a house where a woman he’d only met the day before has been brutally murdered. Is missing Luke Felton the prime suspect, or is it his body in the mud of the harbour? Horton is under pressure to get results, but things are about to get much worse for the beleaguered detective …

Page 69 – Footsteps on the Shore

Horton told Walters to get hold of any CCTV tapes in the area of the cemetery; they might get the chance to view them later to see which direction Rookley had gone after leaving the graveyard, and if he had left with anyone. As he rang off Cantelli pulled up outside Ashley Felton’s waterfront apartment and a few minutes later a man in his early forties, wearing striped pyjama bottoms and a navy sweatshirt, and looking as though he was suffering from the mother of all hangovers, showed them into an apartment with wide windows overlooking the harbour. He punched the remote control and silenced the huge plasma television that took up the opposite wall. Horton thought, with such a spectacular view across the busy harbour who’d want to watch TV?
‘Neil told me Luke’s missing,’ Ashley Felton said with a worried frown. ‘It said on the news a body was found yesterday in the harbour.’ He gestured at the television, which was showing a local news programme. ‘Is it... . . .? Are you here to tell me it’s Luke?’
Horton could see that he was genuinely concerned, which was more than his sister and brother-in-law had been.
‘We don’t have an ID yet, sir,’ he said gently.
‘Then you want me to identify him.’ Ashley Felton’s pallid face bleached. He ran a trembling hand over his unshaven chin.
‘No. It’s been in the water too long for that.’
‘God!’ He let out a breath and sank on to the sofa, reaching for a packet of cigarettes from the glass- topped table. Horton wished he wouldn’t light up; the room already stank of cigarettes and the remains of a cooked breakfast, which littered the dining table in front of the window.
Felton offered the packet across. They both refused. He’d given no indication he’d noticed Horton’s battered face, but then the man had a great deal on his mind. Horton quickly studied him. He had the same square-jawed features as his brother, only Ashley’s face was more heavily lined, and his blue eyes bloodshot.
Unzipping his sailing jacket, Horton signalled to Cantelli to start the questioning. With his pencil poised over his notebook, Cantelli said, ‘When did you last see Luke, sir?’

Where to buy

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Available from all good booksellers in paperback, as an ebook, Large Print and as unabridged audio book and for loan in libraries in the UK, Commonwealth and the USA.

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MARCH 13TH, 2021 @ 6:10:36 GMT

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