mayo-bannerThis fiendish competition has been devised by American crime writer Mike Mayo. He says:

“Marshall McLuhan came up with the page 69 test. According to Wikipedia, he said that when you’re trying to decide about buying a book, you should turn to page 69 and read the page. If it appeals to you, buy the book. If not, move on. All right, given that standard, take a look at these page-69 selections from three excellent mystery novels. Most of them are from the first edition, but I think the rule should apply to any hardback or paperback.”

What we want you do is to identify the three books which Mike Mayo has chosen. We have given you a pretty massive visual clue as to the author in each case!







blackoutTHE PRIZE? A copy of Marc Elsberg’s new bestseller, Blackout. This has been around in one form or another since 2012, but since it is billed as “a 21st century high-concept disaster thriller”, it is probably safe to assume that the latest edition has been made future-proof. Elsberg (aka Marcus Rafelsberger) was born in Vienna, and after training as an industrial designer worked as a strategy consultant and creative director in the advertising world. Blackout has a simple but rather scary premise. Quite simply, hackers decide to shut down Europe. They start in Milan, with the electricity grid. Then they rack up the attacks further afield. Half the continent is plunged into darkness while  people freeze and struggle to find food and water. Elsberg turns this nightmare scenario into an entertaining but disturbing thriller.

To win the book, identify the three novels quoted above. With Page 69 as the subject, email your answer to:

1. The first correct answer drawn out of ‘the hat’ will be the winner.
2. UK and Irish Republic entries only, on this occasion, due to postal costs.
3. Competition closes 10.00pm GMT on Wednesday  15th February