It’s a good while since I’ve put together an opening lines post, but rather than favourite opening lines from books I’ve already read as I’ve done previously, I’m choosing some samples from the books on my TBR.
From Listening Still by Anne Griffin
Jeanie Masterson has a gift: she can hear the last words of the dead.
Passed down from generation to generation, this gift means she is able to make wrongs right, to give voice to unspoken love and dying regrets. She and her father have worked happily alongside each other for years, but now he’s unexpectedly announced that he wants to retire early and leave the business to her and her life is called into question.
The minute my father told me he was retiring and handing Masterson Funeral Directors to me, I wanted to run. Run to the edges of this world, to teeter on its sheer cliff tops, to lift my head skyward, to breathe in the air that demanded nothing of me. To let that freedom from expectation reach each extremity, smoothing every crease and frown, unfurling my tightly gripped fists.
From The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan
January 1921. Though the Great War is over, in Ireland a new, civil war is raging. The once-grand Kilcolgan House, a crumbling bastion shrouded in sea-mist, lies half empty and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the Prendevilles, the noble family within, co-existing only as the balance of their secrets is kept.
Kilcolgan House stands at the end of the long drive, caught by a moment of moonlight. Its granite walls, slick with the earlier rain, shine silver; its roof glows; its many large windows are like mirrors to the sky. The bad weather has passed for the moment and only the breath of a breeze flutters the long grass in the home meadow. From the strand, through the trees, the roll of the waves can be heard. Here, at the house, the only sound is the steady drip of leaking gutters.
From A Spoonful of Murder by J.M. Hall
Retirement can be murder…
Every Thursday, three retired school teachers have their ‘coffee o’clock’ sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre café.
But one fateful week, as they are catching up with a slice of cake, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy.
By the next Thursday, Topsy’s dead.
The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become involved in a murder.
Quite simply, being involved in a murder was something they would never have set out to do. As Thelma said afterwards, everything that happened was (in the beginning at any rate) the sort of thing that was part and parcel of living in a small town. Something happened, then something else, and then something else on top of that. Pat going into the bank in Thirsk, not Ripon, Liz bumping into Paula that morning in Tesco.
From A Matter of Time (DI Birch #4) by Claire Askew
At 8am the first shots are fired.
At 1pm, the police establish the gunman has a hostage.
By 5pm, a siege is underway.
At 9pm, DI Helen Birch walks, alone and unarmed, into an abandoned Borders farmhouse to negotiate with the killer.
One day. One woman. One chance to get everyone out alive.
Cleaning the shotgun was a ritual he’d always loved. As a boy, he used to stand in the doorway of the barn and watch his father do it, never allowed closer than the threshold because his mother feared guns and wanted him to fear them, too. But the shotgun — its barrel a pillar of trapped light by the time his father was done with it — held no fear, only fascination.
From Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington
When young single mother Grace Devlin is diagnosed with cancer her best chance of survival is to find a bone marrow transplant. Only Grace is adopted and her one previous attempt to connect with her birth mother resulted in bitter disappointment. But with her young son Jack to think about, and the return of his father Liam reminding her of feelings she’d thought she’d buried long ago, Grace refuses to give up hope just yet.
The strangest sensation filled Grace’s body. Her arms and legs felt as light as dry leaves whipping through an autumn breeze. And for a moment, it was as if part of her left her body and floated upwards towards the ceiling. She looked down towards Dr Kennedy who sat frowning, in a battered old brown leather chair. He leant forward earnestly, looking at somebody who looked very much like her.
From The Shape Of Night by Tess Gerritsen
If the walls could talk . . . they’d tell her to leave. Now.
When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.
But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.
The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely?
Even now I still dream about Brodie’s Watch, and the nightmare is always the same. I am standing in the gravel driveway and the house looms before me like a ghost ship adrift in the fog. Around my feet mist curls and slithers and it coats my skin in icy rime. I hear waves rolling in from the sea and crashing against the cliffs, and overhead, seagulls scream a warning to stay far, far away.
From The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.