Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Airtight by David Rosenflet

The tabloids called it "The Judge-sicle Murder."

This is the opening sentence and opening paragraph, a trend that is growing at an alarming rate. What is this compulsion to begin a novel with one sentence paragraphs?Do authors think that by isolating them, these openers will stand out more and thus read better, look more intense. It might work sometimes, but sometimes it looks pretentious, especially when the next sentence and new paragraph are still on the topic of the opening line.

It was a ridiculous name for an event so horrific and tragic, but it sold newspapers, and generated web hits, so it stuck.

The rest of page 1 goes on to provide the circumstances of the case of the judge-sicle murder, which have some interesting details that are a little puzzling; for example, the times don't match up, and the fact that the victim, a judge, was found with a melted Fudgsicle.

I like the opening line, despite its narrative isolation. It introduces a crime, which is a key plot point in a crime novel which should be revealed sooner, rather than later. I like how the murder is given a name and how peculiar that name is. It's effective because of what it reveals about plot, or foreshadows.

First thing said:

"I can't make it tonight."

One word titles are usually at a disadvantage. This title like many one-word titles suggests many possibilities. Perhaps that is one reason why such titles are attractive.

Verdict: Pass

Theodore Moracht

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