Book Beginnings on Friday

How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading. Book Beginnings is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages every Friday.

I’m in the middle of reading The Safe House by Nicci French. It begins:

The door was the first thing. The door was open. The front door was never open, even in the wonderful heat of the previous summer that had been so like home, but there it was teetering inwards, on a morning so cold that the moisture hanging in the air stung Mrs Ferrer’s pocked cheeks. She pushed her gloved hand against the white painted surface, testing the evidence of her eyes.

‘Mrs Mackenzie?’

Silence. Mrs Ferrer raised her voice and called for her employer once more and felt embarrassed as the words echoed, high and wavering, in the large hallway. She stepped inside and wiped her feet on the mat too many times, as she always did. she removed her gloves and clutched them in her left hand. there was a smell now. It was heavy and sweet. It reminded her of something. the smell of a barnyard. No, inside. A barn maybe.

These paragraphs drew me into this mystery/psychological thriller and I wanted to know why the door was open and the source of the barnyard smell. There’s not long to wait because that becomes clear on the next page. After a dramatic opening the book settles down to a more leisurely pace, but slowly building up the tension.

I am wondering just how safe the Safe House of the title really is.

9 thoughts on “Book Beginnings on Friday

  1. Hi Margaret,

    I have read a few Nicci French books, but definitely not his one, I would remember an opening like that, even though I can probably guess what the smell is!!

    I think that Nicci French is one of the best present day exponents of the thriller, although it must be difficult to collaborate so closely as husband and wife, I don’t think it would be a good working relationship for myself and my husband!!

    Have a good weekend.


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