Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Beyond Belief"

Helen Smith is a British novelist who lives in London.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Beyond Belief, the new book in her Emily Castles mystery series, and reported the following:
On page 69, Emily is talking to Tim, a character whose son has died. A spiritualist has advised Tim and his wife to come to Torquay. This means that Tim, his wife and the spiritualist are all potential suspects in a death that hasn't happened yet. A leading psychic has predicted that someone will drown that weekend, and it seems that a famous magician called Edmund Zenon is the most likely candidate. He has offered fifty thousand pounds to anyone who can prove the existence of the paranormal during the Belief and Beyond conference. Emily has been hired to write a report on the outcome, so she's well placed to investigate if anyone should die. And because this is a murder mystery, we don't have long to wait until that happens. Beyond Belief is an entertaining read with eccentric characters in over-the-top situations, but there are moments of pathos.
There was a low wall running along the side of the path, with railings on top of it, with gaps at regular intervals to allow access to steps leading down to the beach below. Further down the beach, toward the town center, a small crowd had gathered, though Emily and Tim weren’t close enough to see what was happening down there. Behind them, the hotel was on top of a hill at one side of the bay. The path sloped gently downward until it reached the town center and the harbour in the middle of the bay, where was almost level with the sea, and then it began to climb again to the top of the cliff at the other side.

The wind coming in from the sea was cold, and Emily turned up her collar to keep the chill off her face. “I’m sorry to hear about your son,” she said. It was all she needed to say for Tim to start talking as they walked down the hill.

His hand went to his hair. He brushed his fingertips across the top of his head. “Thanks. I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself, too, since it happened. There’s this awkwardness with people at work. My boss, my colleagues—people I used to enjoy a pint of beer or a game of golf with—they’re sympathetic, but what I’m going through is beyond their understanding. Have you ever lost someone close like that?”


“I have less in common with my friends than I once did. It’s a lonely feeling. You start to feel like an outsider. You feel a kinship with other outsiders, no matter what put them there. You start to look for those people. You get people who say they want to help. Sometimes you feel hugely grateful to them. Other times you feel resentful. You don’t know who to trust. You feel emotional. That’s not me. Or it wasn’t.”
Learn more about the book and author at Helen Smith's website, Twitter perch, or on Facebook.

My Book, The Movie: Beyond Belief.

--Marshal Zeringue