Friday, March 3, 2023

"The Dead Will Rise"

Chris Nickson is the author of ten Tom Harper mysteries, eight highly acclaimed novels in the Richard Nottingham series, and four previous 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 Dead Will Rise, the new Simon Westow mystery, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Dead Will Rise shows a transition, movement, as thief-taker Simon Westow and his assistant Jane are on the track of a gang of bodysnatchers. A browser opening there would struggle to understand what was happening.

Yet it gives a sense of foreboding, moving towards the next confrontation with the gang, even as they begin to watch what might be their hideout. So, to some degree, it works, and it hints at who Simon and Jane are as the hunters, as well as a sketch of Leeds in 1824.

Obviously, a single page in a novel can rarely give the whole context of the book. At best it can capture the mood and action. Here, it builds the tension:
He gazed around, alert for any sounds or footsteps. Any sense that someone might be following him. Nothing at all. At the entrance to Goulden’s Yard, he drew his knife, comforted by the weight in his hand.

One minute, two. Not a hint of movement anywhere. Somewhere in the far distance a dog barked. Silently, he crossed the cobbles, staying close to the walls, in the shadows. A hurried moment to pick the lock and he was inside, closing the door, barely daring to breathe.
Something is about to happen, and hopefully enough to make the reader turn the page and discover what it is. But there’s plenty more ahead.

While page 69 won’t reveal all the secrets of The Dead Will Rise, it might offer some temptation to a reader.
Visit Chris Nickson's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Constant Lovers.

The Page 69 Test: The Iron Water.

The Page 69 Test: The Hanging Psalm.

Q&A with Chris Nickson.

The Page 69 Test: The Molten City.

The Page 69 Test: Brass Lives.

The Page 69 Test: The Blood Covenant.

--Marshal Zeringue