Friday, 11 October 2013

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin's feet were placed in a tub of cement.

With this review, I'm cheating a little, as I've already read this book and enjoyed it a lot. However, I remember beginning the novel and how that opening line has stayed with me. We have setting, character and conflict and questions - all great ingredients for a great hook.

It employs the in media res device, frowned upon by some. It's a device that hooks, but in a way it's cheating, as climatic moments are usually always exciting. It hooks, but it is not the beginning of the story and some have argued that this beginning in the middle of things is a technique employed by poor writers. However, here, it's only a line and as the reader reads the book, this line is always in the back of the mind.

The opening shifts to how it all began - with a girl and the opening scene unfolds quickly hooking the reader before the first chapter ends.

First thing said:

"You know whose place this is?"

Verdict: Pass

Theodore Moracht

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