Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King

Wednesday & Thursday
September 18 &19, 1929

The envelope reached Bennett Grey early Wednesday afternoon.

This opening sounds like it is of the phone call opening variety. A message or communication of some sort is coming. Why not begin right away with the message? Instead the page continues in a roundabout way to tell us there is a letter and the receiver is not keen on opening it. So this does raise a question: Does it hook? Then, to draw out the suspense, the writer describes the weather, a technique used to build up tension by way of delay. But I'm too smart for that; I just skip ahead by reading the first sentences of paragraphs until I'm back on track with the forward narrative. Only a couple pages later do we get the letter, and it's a bit of a let down until we learn about the photos and the terror in them. So the hook comes at the end of this preface, a little risky, with all the attention deficiencies going around these days.

Chapter 1:

The morning exploded.

Which is a poetic way of saying the character is in bed and the sun is rising - and as usual in this type of opening, Mr. Character looks at his watch to find out what time it is.

The chapters are short and the endings are more interesting than the beginnings, like mini cliffhangers, so the narrative should pull most people in, if they are willing to invest time at the beginning and if you've already bought this book, I suppose you will be.

As for me, I'm off to the next book.

First thing said:

"Not today, friends."

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Theodore Moracht

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