He applied the "Page 99 Test" to the latter and reported the following:
In my opinion, Ford Madox Ford's statement is an interesting idea, but maybe mostly because it's so unlikely. I took a whirl at it and read Page 99 of my new novel, The Face of Death. It was a decent enough page, a part of the book designed to fill in some gaps and keep the story humming along. But I wouldn't send it out as an ambassador of the book. A novel is an organism symbiotic with itself. The beginning feeds the middle feeds the end. Then the middle chews on the beginning a little bit while the end cleans barnacles off both of them. My point being, you read a book until it's done, and only then can you really know what the "quality of the whole" is. Even so, that favored bugbear appears - subjectivity. Some people read a book and hate it, some read a book and love it. In my humble opinion, you should start at page one and eat the whole sundae, fudge and all. Reading is a meal, not a taste test.Read more about The Face of Death --including an excerpt -- at Mcfadyen's website.