It’s All In The Opening


In the last couple weeks, I received four new books in the mail! Whooo-hoo! It almost felt like Christmas.

As so often happens, when the new books come, I immediately grab them up and read a few pages, never mind what other books I might already have started. Inevitably I have to re-read those pages to recapture the story, but I don’t mind. I think I’m more in tune with what’s happening the second time around. You see, it’s pretty hard to capture my attention right off. I’m the one who had to start The Hobbit three times before getting into it.

Just for fun, I thought it might be interesting to give you the openings of the books I received and let you vote on the ones that captured your interest. I’ll make it multiple choice so that you can choose more than one answer if several (or all) hook you. I think I might throw in one or two others, too, just to spike the punch. 😉 So here they are, in no special order:

Choice A

    Sirens called him from his dreams. When the racket stopped, he rose and crossed the little bedroom of his hotel suite to lean out into the night, trusting his life to the freezing wrought iron railing just beyond the window so he could gaze down into the alley where a couple of New York City’s finest had thrown some guy against the bricks. Even from five floors up, even in the dark, Ridler recognized the lust for violence and the fear down there, but that was nothing compared to the play of the police car’s lights on the wall across the alley.

Choice B

    “And I say that you’re a fool, Addison Fletcher!” the brawny man declared, striking his ale mug against the bare wooden table for emphasis.

    “God smite me where I sit if I tell a lie, Coll Dawson!” Addison protested, his eyes flicking heavenward for the briefest of moments.

    “Ah, but — did you not say,” declared Coll, cocking an eyebrow and pointing a finger. “Did you not say that you got this account from another –”

    “From Rob Fuller,”piped a voice from the end of the table.

    “Aye, from Rob Fuller. And who’s to say that a tale told by Rob Fuller is true or false? Swearing oaths upon secondhand tales is not wise.”

Choice C

    It wasn’t a sound that woke Janner Igiby. It was a silence.

    Something was wrong.

    He strained into a sitting position, wincing at the pain in his neck, shoulders, and thighs. Every time he moved he was reminded of the claws and teeth that had caused his wounds.

    He expected to see the bearer of those claws and teeth asleep in the bunk beside him, but his brother was gone. Sunlight fell through the porthole and slid to and fro across the empty mattress like a pendulum, keeping time with the rocking of the boat. The other bunk’s bedclothes were in a heap on the floor, which was typical; Kalmar never made his bed back in Glipwood, either. What wasn’t typical was his absence.

Choice D

    From a snug in the corner of the Museum Tavern, Douglas Flinders-Petrie dipped a sop of bread into the gravy of his steak and kidney pudding and watched the entrance to the British Museum across the street. The great edifice was dark, the building closed to the public for over three hours. The employees had gone home, the charwomen had finished their cleaning, and the high iron gates were locked behind them. The courtyard was empty and, outside the gates, there were fewer people on the street now than an hour ago. He felt no sense of urgency: only keen anticipation, which he savoured as he took another draught of London Pride. He had spent most of the afternoon in the museum, once more marking the doors and exits, the blind spots, the rooms where a person might hide and remain unseen by the night watchmen, of which there were but three to cover the entire acreage of the sprawling institution.

Choice E

    The lantern, dangling from Repentance Atwater’s upstretched hand, cast a pool of yellow light around the village midwife, as she stooped beside Joy Springside’s sleeping mat. The rest of the cave lay in darkness.

    “Push, now, Joy!” the midwife commanded.

    Joy, her face scrunched with the effort, pushed.

    The baby came finally, all purple-skinned and slick with blood and screaming his protest at the world.

    Screaming his protest.

    A boy!

    It wasn’t fair! Lantern light splashed up and down the walls as Repentance’s hand shook.

    She grimaced, as the babe’s squalling bounced off hard stone walls and bruised her raw nerves. She should never have agreed to this.

Choice F

    A uniform named Nguyen is on the tape tonight. The flashing lights bounce off the reflective strips on his slicker. He cocks his head at my ID and gives me a sideways smile.

    “Detective March,” he says, adding my name to his log.

    “I know you, don’t I? You worked the Thomson scene last year.”

    “That was me.”

    “Good work, if I remember. You got a line on this one yet?”

    “I haven’t even been inside.” He nods at the house over his shoulder. A faux Tuscan villa on Brompton in West University, just a couple of blocks away from the Rice village. “Nice, huh? Not the first place I’d expect to be called out to.”

    “You think death cares where you live?”

    “I guess not. Answer me one thing: why the monkey suit?”

By the way, if you think you know who the author is, feel free to leave a comment and give us your guess. However, if you’ve read the book and actually KNOW who the author is, please limit your comment to a hint but don’t spoil the chance others have of guessing.

Remember, vote for all the beginnings that hooked you. The poll will remain open for a week.

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Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm  Comments (31)  
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