Thursday, July 9, 2020

"The Molten City"

Chris Nickson is the author of The Molten City and seven previous Tom Harper mysteries, seven highly acclaimed novels in the Richard Nottingham series, and two Simon Westow mysteries. He is also a well-known music journalist. He lives in his beloved Leeds.

Nickson applied the Page 69 Test to The Molten City and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Molten City focuses solely on one of the two big threads of the story – children who went missing years before when they were very young, possibly to become the offspring of a wealthy family.

Harper’s staff have been digging into the history of the rich man who might have been behind the disappearance, and we see the first fruit of their work. There’s also a little on a homeless man who might be able to tell them about a man who’s been murdered and might have been involved in taking one of the children from his family.

And families, both broken and whole, loving and hating, blood and otherwise, are a vital theme of the book. In that, the page only gives an insight into half the book, missing out the whole part about the Suffragettes and unemployed men intending to demonstrate when the Prime Minister visits Leeds. It’s really only partially successful as a view of the book.

I’m not sure that any single page can shed huge light on a book. A novel is a long form, so any single page would be a microscopic view. This does, perhaps, give a look at police procedure and investigation, and the fact that no detectives – in any period – have cases that regularly go directly from A-Z. Many are not too straightforward; there are multiple strands they have to balance.
Learn more about the book and author at Chris Nickson's website.

Q&A with Chris Nickson.

--Marshal Zeringue