Tag: Book Beginnings (Page 1 of 13)

#BookBeginnings Among the Shadows by Bruce Robert Coffin

Today I’m reading Among the Shadows by Bruce Robert Coffin 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!

 

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Among the Shadows by Bruce Robert Coffin

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Summary:  When a retired cop is murdered while in hospice, Detective Sergeant John Byron struggles to find a motive. Why would someone kill a man already so close to death? When second ex-Portland police officer is killed, Byron realizes the cases are linked and that if he doesn’t solve the murders quickly, more cops might die.

First Sentence:

The bitter stench of urine and impending death permeated the small dingy bedroom. Hawk stood next to the bed, looking down at O’Halloran.

Thoughts: 

I have to admit that first bit made me feel a bit squeamish. What about you?

Because we meet the victim and the killer pretty much in the first sentence of the book, this is not a traditional mystery. The publisher calls it a thriller.

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

 

Retired Detective Ray Humphrey, one of Byron’s oldest and dearest friends, had always said:  “If you find your train derailing during the course of the investigation, the best thing you can do is go back to the beginning.”

Discussion:

I recently watched a webinar featuring Bruce Robert Coffin, who — like his fictional protagonist –is a retired detective sergeant from Maine. I was impressed by what he said during the talk, so I picked up his first two books.  If you like police procedurals,  this is a good choice. You can tell the guy knows his stuff and isn’t afraid to put it on the page.

You can’t tell from the excerpts, but the Portland, Maine setting adds a dimension to the story, too.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

#BookBeginnings Murder in Pigalle

It has been way too long since I’ve been able to join  Book Beginnings on Fridays. Today I’m reading Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black for an online book discussion on Monday at my local library.

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!

 

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Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black

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Summary:  Although she wants to slow down her hectic life because of her pregnancy, private investigator Aimée Leduc still rushes to find the missing thirteen-year-old daughter of a friend. She’s afraid the girl’s disappearance may be related to a serial rapist terrorizing the Parisian neighborhood of Pigalle.

First Sentence:

Paris, June 1998. Monday 1:15 P.M.

Stepping into the shadowed cool of Passage Verdeau, Aimée Leduc welcomed the reprieve from the late-June heat — but not the barrel of the Uzi blocking her way. Stifling a gasp, she clutched her stomach, felt a flutter,

Discussion:

Do you like this beginning?

I do. It gives a sense of the place, the person, and set a tone for the novel, all in a few words.

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

 

She had a little life stirring inside her. Part of her wondered what she would do to protect it. And it scared her.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a pregnant protagonist, especially a private detective. It adds an interesting dimension to the story.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

#BookBeginnings The Janes by Louisa Luna

So excited to be able to join Book Beginnings on Fridays. I’m reading The Janes by Louisa Luna today.

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!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Janes* by Louisa Luna

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Summary:  The second Alice Vega novel travels to the San Diego area where the bodies of two young women have been found. Lacking identification, one of the girls is clutching a slip of paper with Alice Vega’s name on it. She calls in her partner from a previous case in Pennsylvania, Max Caplan, and together they begin to piece together what happened to the girls while trying to prevent anyone else from meeting the same fate.

First Sentence:

Meet our girl:  seventeen, arrived here a year ago from a rough and dusty town in Chiapas, considered pretty by most standards because she is young, her face unmarked by scars or wrinkles, her body boasting the tender snap of fresh muscle.

Discussion: 

Did you notice the way the author used “our girl” for the victim? It continues throughout the scene, not just in the first line.  I wasn’t completely sure whether it made the reader empathize with the girl or if it created the impression that she was being described by someone who treated her like a possession.

How did it strike you?

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

 

The wife tilted back on her heels and then steadied herself. She struggled against the doctor for a moment but then didn’t fight.

In this scene, Cap is watching a couple of suspects.

What do you think? Have you read anything by Louisa Luna?

#BookBeginnings Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Today I’m looking forward to reading Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna 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!

 

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Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

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Summary:   Two young sisters disappear from a parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town and the police aren’t making any progress. Desperate, their mother hires a bounty hunter named Alice Vega, to search for the girls. Vega enlists a local PI, Max Caplan, to help her. Will the pair be enough to find the girls in time?

First Sentence:

Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother. Later she would tell that to anyone who would listen:  police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz’s, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink’s edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.

Discussion:  A first glance, this seems like a pretty straightforward beginning. When you look closer, however, you begin to notice there’s a lot of information. She has a boyfriend, so she is a single mother. She has a dealer and knows a bartender, so she might have addictions. Plus, she is in a lot of pain.

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

 

Cap truly believed there was nothing harder than being a kid. You were always an alien trying to learn the earth rules.

Actually, this is just a random quote that I liked.

I heard good things about this series, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

What do you think? Do the quotes draw you in?

What are you reading this week?

#BookBeginnings The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day

Let’s take a look at The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day 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!

 

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The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Alice Fine works in a construction office with her dad by day and volunteers with an online group that matches unidentified bodies (“Does”) with missing persons at night. Unlike many of the other members of the group — who started because they have missing relatives — Alice was drawn to the work because she herself was a missing person when she was very young. She was rescued in less than a day, but her kidnapper was never caught. When Alice recognizes a man from a photograph on the missing persons website, she soon realizes he is the one who kidnapped her so long ago. With the help of other volunteers, Alice delves into the mystery of who he was and why he took her.

First Sentence:

Audrey89:  RE: RE: RE:…This thread is getting long and tedious already and you jerks are starting to repeat yourselves.

Discussion:

Oh yes, I’ve been on forums that were like that.

This section isn’t labelled as prologue, but it begins in front of Chapter One. Throughout the text, the author sprinkles in online discussions, emails, etc. between regular-length chapters.

The idea that a victim can investigate the crime really works.  It is done in a believable way. The online group is based on an actual organization.

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

 

When Merrily jolted awake from strange dreams, her mouth still tasted weird.

Technically this is from page 57, because page 56 was an email.

Hum, wonder what Merrily was up to before she fell asleep.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

#BookBeginnings Upon a Dark Night by Peter Lovesey

Today’s shelf find is Upon a Dark Night by Peter Lovesey 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!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

Upon a Dark Night* by Peter Lovesey

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Summary:   Detective Inspector Peter Diamond of the Bath homicide squad is working two cases:  the death of a woman who fell from the roof of a local landmark, and that of an elderly farmer who shot himself. He has no time for the mystery of a  young woman dumped in the hospital parking lot, injured and without a memory of who she is or what happened to her. He will leave that one to someone else. That is, until it becomes apparent that the cases may be linked in some way.

First Sentence:

A young woman opened her eyes.

The view was blank, a white-out, a snowfall that covered everything.

 

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

 

He said, “I like chocolate chip cookies. I like chocolate chip cookies the best.”

I chose this quote because I like chocolate chip cookies, too.

Although the sentence seems like it might be filler dialogue, it turns out later in the page that it is actually a clue. A tiny clue, but a clue nonetheless. It’s great when chocolate chop cookies can be a clue.

When a friend gave me some older mystery novels a few months ago, based on the cover I thought this was one Lovesey’s historical novels. I put it away on a shelf. Last week I saw a Lovesey mystery featured on Shiela’s A Quiet Georgie blog and realized the Detective Inspector Peter Diamond  series is contemporary (well, as contemporary as the 1990s can be).  Another awesome shelf find!

What do you think? Would you pull out some chocolate chip cookies and read a Detective Inspector Peter Diamond mystery?

Are you finding any gems hidden on your shelves?

#BookBeginnings Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

Today I’m reading Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner 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!

 

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Live to Tell* by Lisa Gardner

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Summary:  When four members of a Boston family are murdered and the father is barely alive in the hospital, everything points to a murder-botched suicide. Police detective D.D. Warren isn’t convinced that things are as obvious as they seem, however, and begins to dig more deeply.  Does the case have anything to do with another tragedy from decades before?

First Sentence, Prologue:

Danielle

I don’t remember that night much anymore.

 

First Sentence, Chapter One

Thursday night. Sargent Detective D.D. Warren was out on a date. It wasn’t the worst date she’d ever been on. It wasn’t the best date she’d ever been on.

Notice the switch from first person to third person?

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

 

D.D. slept until seven the next morning, an unusual luxury when working a high-burn case.

Actually this is page 57 because 56 is blank.

I have four Lisa Gardner novels in my TBR pile. I decided to start with the oldest one in the D.D. Warren series because I had already read the first two.

Lisa Gardner is prolific, so I also have one from the FBI Profiler series, and one from the Tessa Leoni series. I don’t know why I have waited so long to read these. I enjoy her books.

What do you think? Would you read Live to Tell? Have you read any novels by Lisa Gardner?

#BookBeginnings A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

 

Am I crazy to be reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 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!

 

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A Gentleman in Moscow* by Amor Towles

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Summary:   Russian aristocrat Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in 1922. Not allowed to leave a hotel across from the Kremlin, Rostov lives vicariously through the people who live in the hotel or who he can see on the street. But does he have more to offer from his vantage point than he thinks?

First Sentence of Book One:

At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, when Count Alexander Ilyvich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool. Drawing his shoulders back without breaking stride, the Count inhaled the air like one fresh from a swim.

 

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

 

Having lived in the Metropol for four years, the Count considered himself something of an expert on the hotel. He knew its staff by name, its services by experience, and the decorative styles of its suites by heart.

This novel is 462 pages long, so the 56 quote is still close to the beginning. So far the writing is incredible, although I wonder about the author’s choice of calling his main character ‘the Count.” Do you think it seems distancing?

I’m hoping it will not be too difficult to read a novel about someone trapped in a hotel while being more or less trapped at home.

What do you think? Would you read A Gentleman in Moscow right now?

 

(Public domain photograph of the Kremlin by Svetlana Tikhonova.)

#BookBeginnings Gone the Next

Let’s look at Gone The Next (Roy Ballard Mysteries Book 1) by Ben Rehder 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!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

Gone The Next by Ben Rehder

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Summary:  Roy Ballard’s job is to video people who might be falsely claiming injury disabilities, but instead of catching a fraud he spots a young girl that matches an Amber Alert. When he reports his sighting, law enforcement doesn’t take him seriously, partially because of his past and partially because they have gotten a flood of tips. Roy alone must find out the truth.

First Sentence:

The woman he was watching this time was in her early thirties. Thirty-five at the oldest. White. Well dressed. Upper middle class.

Discussion:

Whoa. Talk about a creepy stalker-ish guy.

I like that you don’t know whether the watcher is the main character trying to catch an insurance cheat or a kidnapper checking out the woman’s daughter.  Which do you think he is?

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The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.

 

As I approached my van, I noticed that I had a flat tire. Then I came to a full stop. It wasn’t just one tire. All four were flat.

At this point I’m not sure what is happening. I do like the short, concise sentences. They add tension.

By the way, this older book is available for free on Kindle right now.

What do you think? Would you keep reading? Do you like short sentences?

#BookBeginnings In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

When friends and relatives rave about a novel (thank you Shan and Karen) you know you have to read it, which is why I have In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn 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!

 

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In An Instant* by Suzanne Redfearn

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Summary:  After she perishes in a car accident, sixteen-year-old Finn Miller finds she can not leave her suffering, grieving family and move on. She watches helplessly as they struggle, knowing she needs to go, but unable to do so with their lives in crisis.

****

The premise made me think of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold because it is also narrated by a teenager who has died (my review with huge spoilers).

First Sentence of Prologue:

Mrs. Kaminski knew.

Before it happened.

Discussion:

And now I need to know what she knew.

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

 

My mom, Uncle Bob, and Kyle are shaking badly when they climb back into the camper through the door that is now the ceiling.

This immediately makes me think of Winnie the Pooh when Owl’s tree falls over because Milne describes the walls becoming floors, etc.  Probably not what the author intended…

What do you think? Would you continue reading?

 

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