Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Instruments of Darkness"

Imogen Robertson is a writer based in London. Her first book Instruments of Darkness was published in the U.K. in May 2009, and is now available in America. Her second novel Anatomy of Murder comes out at the end of April 2010 in Britain.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Instruments of Darkness and reported the following:
This is an interesting exercise. On page 69 of Instruments of Darkness Gabriel Crowther has waylaid Hugh Thornleigh on a dark country lane in Sussex, and is interrogating him about the identity of the body of a man Harriet Westerman has discovered between her estate and that of Hugh’s father. It does give a flavor of the book, I’m sure. It is obvious that it is a crime novel, and historical. I hope it also has a certain dark humor to it. Of course, there is no Harriet on this page, and that makes it unusual. Her relationship with Crowther, a mix of admiration and frustration, is one of the driving forces of the novel. It is also almost all dialogue, and though there is plenty of talk in Instruments, I also enjoy the opportunity writing prose gives you to hear what characters are thinking, and see what they are seeing too.

Would it make someone want to read on? I certainly hope so, but I couldn’t possibly tell!
Hugh was surprised enough to jerk at his reigns, and his horse whinnied and shook her head in protest.

‘Mr. Crowther! You have a talent for coming up on my blind side. What do you mean skulking around the bushes?'

'It is a pleasant evening. I have no reason to hurry home.'

'Aye! This is a coincidence is it? You sent Joshua running away did you? Damn it, what business of it of yours whom I choose to meet and where?'

Crowther opened his eyes innocently wide, and waited for Hugh to calm his ride before he replied.

'I think it may be a matter of more general interest at the moment, Mr. Thornleigh. Who is Carter Brook, and in what way was he to assist you?'

'Again I ask what business is it of yours? By what right do you, Sir, question me?'

'In cause of the general good, of course.'

Hugh snorted, and Crowther stepped forward a little. 'And as I spent the better part of the day examining this Mr. Brook's body, I would say my curiosity is both right and natural in the circumstances.'
Learn more about the book and author at Imogen Robertson's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue