Tuesday, October 27, 2020

"House of Lies"

Born in Kent, D. S. Butler grew up as an avid reader with a love for crime fiction and mysteries. She has worked as a scientific officer in a hospital pathology laboratory and as a research scientist. After obtaining a PhD in biochemistry, she worked at the University of Oxford for four years before moving to the Middle East.

Butler applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, House of Lies, and reported the following:
Page 69 of House of Lies falls in the middle of a chapter at a point where two of the characters are talking about the central mystery – the disappearance of two teenagers from Chidlow House.
‘Right. It’s probably got nothing to do with the students’ disappearance, but I thought it was worth checking out.’

‘Absolutely. Any news your end?’ Rick asked.

‘Nothing much, but I would like you to look into Graham Doyle’s company. I’d also like you to speak to all the teachers who were working here this week, and I’m particularly interested in Edward Chidlow’s background.’

‘Chidlow’s a person of interest, is he?’

‘Possibly,’ Karen said. ‘I’m not sure yet, but we need to look at him and anyone who’s been in contact with these students this week. Chidlow’s interesting because according to Todd Layton – Natasha’s father – Chidlow has quite the reputation.’

‘What sort of reputation?’

‘Layton said, according to the local rumour mill, Chidlow likes younger women.’

‘How much younger?’

‘That’s what I need you to look into, Rick.’

‘All right, Sarge. I’ll see what I can find out.’

After hanging up, Rick polished off his sandwich, and took one last look out of the window. Yes, England was a green and pleasant land thanks to all the rain they had, but it could be really depressing. He could do with seeing the sun break through the clouds for a moment or two.
I think the page 69 test works well here. The page gives a glimpse of the central mystery driving the plot and shows the key moment the police investigation focuses on a major suspect. Rick, the point of view character in this section, is having a tough time at home as he’s caring for his mother who has dementia. His thoughts and mood are coloured by his current situation. Although his mother isn’t mentioned on page 69, I think readers can still get a sense of how Rick’s feeling.
Visit D.S. Butler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue