Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Blood Atonement"

Dan Waddell has published ten non-fiction books. He lives in west London with his son.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Blood Atonement, his second novel featuring genealogist Nigel Barnes (following The Blood Detective), and reported the following:
I laughed when I heard about the page 69 test. Reminded me of my stepbrother who applies the 35 test, but for rather less literary reasons. When he orders Indian or Chinese food takeaway, he goes blind - asks for number 35 and sees what turns up. His theory is that it's always more than edible. But then, he's pushing 270 pounds...

The smile faded when I looked at page 69. There is this passage, spoken by my detective:

'Let's just say there's a chance, an outside chance, that the person who killed her and abducted her daughter is some kind of distant relation. So if possible, we need to know anyone who might be alive today who shared a common maternal ancestor.'

The first sentence effectively suggests the premise of the whole book. The second introduces my book's point of difference - the use of genealogy in solving the crime. It is also one of the few pages in the book when my main three protagonists - genealogist Nigel Barnes, his sometimes squeeze DS Heather Jenkins and the brusque detective Grant Foster - are featured at the same time. Hell, the page even hints at the use of genetic genealogy to help solve the mystery, a fascinating area I hope to explore further in future books.

I'd say page 69 is more than edible.
Read an excerpt from Blood Atonement, and learn more about the book and author at Dan Waddell's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue