He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The History Book, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The History Book happens to be a crucial moment of reflection and back story in a hard-driving, action-packed thriller. It’s a summer’s afternoon during the adolescence of Kat Polinski, the heroine, when she witnesses something that strips away part of her innocence. Kat is 15 at the time. She brushes herself off, keeps going, but remembers. It’s one of those moments we all have in growing up when we realise things will never quite be the same as before.Read an excerpt from The History Book and learn more at Humphrey Hawksley's web site. Check out the video: The History Book Movie.
In that respect Page 69 is reflective. Kat lives in a society of near-total surveillance, where the media is used to manipulate public opinion and nations are scrambling for the control of energy supplies. Kat is clever, restless, impatient, and when her sister is murdered she will not stop until she’s found the killers.
The History Book is about what Kat discovers as she hunts. Constantly, she is told to stop for her own good. But Kat's moral compass enables her to push on, putting herself in more and more danger. Her quest unveils a challenging question (reflected on Page 69) whether it is about sending young men and women to war or about raising our children. How much truth should anyone be told?
Excerpt from page 69:
Kat dropped her eyes and saw the bulge inside his pants. She caught the scent of him and nearly wretched. Sayer bent over to look into a small mirror her dad kept on the side of the desk.
"Best to keep these things to ourselves," he said, checking his chin growth with the edge of his forefinger. "The fact is that truth hurts people, Kat. Your dad, Nancy. No-one wants good people to get hurt."
Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.