First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
“Concentrate on the moth.”
The creature fluttered against the inside of the upended water glass as the women leaned in to watch. It was trying to reach the light from the amber street lamp that shone through the gap in the curtains. Each time its wings batted against its prison, the Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata shed more of the powder that kept it in flight, leaving arrow imprints on the glass.
“Concentrate hard on the moth, Madeline.”
In the early evening drizzle, the Edwardian terraced house at 24 Cranmere Road was like a thousand others in the surrounding South London streets, its quiddity to be a part of the city’s chaotic whole. There were shiny grey slates, dead chimney pots and shabby bay windows. The rain sketched silver signatures across the rooftops, leaving inky pools on empty pavements. At this time of the year it was an indoor world.
I don’t talk about this series much but it is one that I absolutely love. The lead characters, Bryant and May, may be on in their years but they have so much personality. Arthur Bryant is always coming up with strange and implausible theories to their cases while John May is much more logical but goes along with Bryant’s odd ideas (to a point) and in the end, they always get their guy. These mysteries are off-the-wall and highly entertaining and they are never predictable.
From using crackpot psychics to cutting-edge forensics, Arthur Bryant and John May are famous for their maddeningly unorthodox approach to solving crimes that the ordinary police cannot. Now Christopher Fowler, “a new master of the classical detective story,”* brings back crime detection’s oddest—and oldest—couple to solve the ultimate locked room mystery.
It’s an “impossible” crime—a member of the Peculiar Crimes Unit killed inside a locked autopsy room populated only by the dead and to which only four PCU members had a key. And to make matters worse, the Unit has been shut down for a forced “vacation” and Bryant and May are stuck in a van miles away in the Dartmoor countryside during a freak snowstorm on their way to a convention of psychics.
Now, with Sergeant Janice Longbright in charge at headquarters, Bryant and May must crack the case by cell phone while trying to stop a second murder without freezing to death. For among the line of snowed-in vehicles, a killer is on the prowl, a beautiful woman is on the run from a man who seeks either redemption or another victim, and an innocent child is caught in the middle.
Weaving together two electrifying cases, White Corridor is an unforgettable triumph—by turns hilarious and harrowing—as two of detective fiction’s most marvelous characters confront one of human nature’s darkest mysteries: the ability to deceive, deny, and destroy. (Goodreads)
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