He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Felicity's Gate, and reported the following:
My book, the second in a projected series of crime novels featuring the Rounder Brothers, is a multi-layered tale of murder, beginning with the death of an artist, Jane Wragge, bashed about the head with a glass juicer. It also concerns lost love, a fugitive fleeing the scene of his banished happiness, and mysterious paintings of naked lovers. The chosen page contains almost none of these, introducing as it does a subsidiary character, Clarence Smith, keeper of the sort of guest house you would not wish to visit. This place of uneasy refuge is close to York Cemetery, which has a vital presence in the novel, providing background, depth and a few threads of history. Reading the passage again, and this is always strange for a writer, there is plenty here to tease the reader, hopefully, although no hint that this is a crime novel in which bad things have been done, and will be done again. It is impossible for me to say whether reading this passage sums up the book, but it does sketch in a character with a role to play. So no squabbling Rounder brothers, no Mosey Mundy, the man on the run, and no mention of the freshly released ghost of the novel, poor dead artist Jane.Read an excerpt from Felicity's Gate.
The Page 69 Test: The Amateur Historian.
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