Grecian applied the Page 69 Test to The Devil’s Workshop and reported the following:
The Murder Squad books, at least the first six of them, describe the ethical, emotional and occupational changes undergone by Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Day’s arc is especially drastic. He’s already gone from being a naïve sensitive country constable to a seasoned detective and is beginning to teeter over the precipice of some vast moral grey area. He’s still on that dark journey, but page 69 of The Devil’s Workshop shows how far he’s already traveled since we met him two books ago, in the first chapter of The Yard.Visit Alex Grecian's website.
As page 69 begins, Day’s caught a prison warden he’s interrogating in a contradiction and he isn’t particularly polite about pointing it out:“Please, don’t say no when you mean yes.”Day goes on to make some observations about the corpse at their feet, but by the end of page 69 it’s clear he’s in charge of the investigation and he’s not much interested in anything except solving it. He’s certainly less concerned than he used to be about ruffling feathers or stepping on toes. He’s losing that veneer of Victorian respectability that he’s always possessed.
The skin around the warden’s eyes tightened. “Of course,” he said. “My mistake.”
Day sighed. “I apologize. Damned awkward situation.”
Out of curiosity I checked page 69 of the previous book in the series. The Walter Day in that book was far more calm and playful. He was biding his time on page 69 of The Black Country, looking for connections, playing with ideas. After all he goes through in the course of that book, he comes to The Devil’s Workshop as a less patient man.
He’s still changing and I’m excited to see what kind of person he’ll eventually become. But that point is still many pages in the future. Several of them numbered 69.