#BookBeginnings And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

Today let’s look at And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



And Now She’s Gone* by Rachel Howzell Hall

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Novice private investigator Grayson Sykes’ job is to track down Isabel Lincoln, whose doctor boyfriend is concerned about Isabel’s mysterious disappearance. Grayson  is new to investigating, so new that when her pen runs out during her first interview, she’s too embarrassed to ask to borrow one.  Will she be able to unravel Isabel’s secrets and find her, even if she might not want to be found?

First Sentence:

She had to do it.
She had to glance in her rearview mirror.
Because a black SUV was rolling up behind her.


What do you think about the fact we have no idea who this character is? Is it confusing or does it make you want to know more? Often mysteries and thrillers start with the victim’s death. So is this the woman, Isabel, who is missing? Or someone else?


The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.


Pens — I need pens.

Who knew private investigators needed so many pens?

I like how the running pen gag gives a little levity to tense scenes and also keeps reminding us that Gray is new to this.

A few weeks back I read Rachel Howzell Hall’s Land of Shadows (prev. post) and enjoyed both her main character’s fresh voice and her vivid, inventive descriptions. So far, this one has the same strengths.

What do you think? Have you read any of Rachel Howzell’s novels?


  1. Anne@HeadFullofBooks

    I am smiling about the comments about pens. Clever. My Friday post

  2. Freda Mans-Labianca

    That 56 made me giggle too, I felt it in my soul. LOL. Happy weekend!

  3. Yvonne

    I had to laugh about the pen, too. It’s a great beginning. I’d want to know more.

  4. Literary Feline

    I feel like I always need pens. I can never find one when I need one. I think my daughter hides them from me. Haha. You’ve got me wondering about that opening. You are right. Often books like this start off wit with the murder. This isn’t an author I have tried before, but I am definitely curious about this book. I hope you are enjoying it! I hope you have a great weekend! Happy Reading!

  5. Lauren @ Always Me

    I like the sound of these snippets. Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  6. Ed

    I don’t think we often know a lot about a character in 22 words. And I don’t think those are three very good sentences to start off with. I would’ve put the book down.

    • Roberta

      I should have mentioned that the person isn’t identified throughout the entire first scene.

  7. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den

    I love the tension the first few sentences create! It immediately grabs my attention and makes me want to know what’s going on. Bwahaha, as a writer, I can totally relate to the feeling of always needing a pen. Even though I own about a thousand of them. Not sure how that works. xD

    • Roberta

      I get the mega-packs of pens at CostCo and then dribble them behind me wherever I go.

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