First Chapter First Paragraph: End in Tears by Ruth Rendell

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week’s book is End in Tears by Ruth Rendell, one of the books for my 10 Books of Summer Challenge.

End In Tears (Inspector Wexford, #20)

 

When he lifted it off the seat the backpack felt heavier than when he had first put it into the car. He lowered it on to the soft ferny ground. Then he got back into the driving seat to move the car deep into a cave made by hawthorn bushes and brambles, and the hop vines which climbed over everything in this wood. It was late June and the vegetation was very dense and luxuriant.

Blurb (Goodreads):

The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.

A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while…

A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father’s worst nightmare: he discovers the murdered body of his eighteen-year-old daughter on the side of the road.

As a man with a strained father-daughter relationship himself, Wexford must struggle to keep his professional life as a detective separate from his personal life as husband and father. Particularly when a second teenage girl is murdered – a victim unquestionably linked to the first – and another family is shattered…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I’ve had this book for about three years and I think I’ve started it once before – the opening chapter looks familiar. I’ve had mixed reactions to Ruth Rendell’s books, preferring the ones she’s written under the name, Barbara Vine. It may be one I’ll pass on – if you’ve read it do let me know what you think.

First Chapter First Paragraph: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week’s book is The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, one of the books for my 10 Books of Summer Challenge.

The Woman in Cabin 10

It begins with a dream

In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls, in the cold, sun-less depths of the North Sea. Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water, her pale skin was wrinkled, her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.

and continues with

Part One – Friday 18 September

The first inkling that something was wrong was waking in darkness to find the cat pawing my face. I must have forgotten to shut the kitchen door last night. Punishment for coming home drunk.

Blurb (from the back cover):

This was meant to be the perfect trip. The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse.

Except things don’t go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted and emotional, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a mistake – either that, or she is now trapped on a boat with a murderer…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I haven’t read any of Ruth Ware’s books, but I like the look of this book and the opening paragraph in part one amused me – if we don’t shut the bedroom door I’m often woken by the cat pawing my face … fortunately I’m not planning to go on a cruise!

First Chapter First Paragraph: Don’t Look Now by Daphne du Maurier

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week’s book is Don’t Look Now: Short Stories by Daphne du Maurier, a book I’m about to start reading.

Don't Look Now and Other Stories

‘Don’t look now,’ John said to his wife, ‘but there are a couple of old girls two tables away who are trying to hypnotise me.’

Laura, quick on cue, made an elaborate pretence of yawning, then tilted her head as though searching the skies for a non-existent aeroplane.

‘Right behind you,’ he added. ‘That’s why you can’t turn round at once – it would be much too obvious.’

Blurb (Amazon):

John and Laura have come to Venice to try and escape the pain of their young daughter’s death. But when they encounter two old women who claim to have second sight, they find that instead of laying their ghosts to rest they become caught up in a train of increasingly strange and violent events.

The four other haunting, evocative stories in this volume also explore deep fears and longings, secrets and desires: a lonely teacher who investigates a mysterious American couple, a young woman confronting her father’s past, a party of pilgrims who meet disaster in Jerusalem and a scientist who harnesses the power of the mind to chilling effect.

~~~

After I’ve read it I shall watch the film – Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland play the parts of Laura and John in the 1973 film.

Don't Look Now  (Digitally Restored) [DVD] [1973]

I wonder how well it follows the original story? And will it infuriate me if it doesn’t? I hope not.

First Chapter First Paragraph: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

On Sunday I thought I’d just have a quick look at Sharon Bolton’s latest book, The Craftsman and was immediately hooked and had read 20%. I’ve had to put the other books I’m reading on hold as I just have to know what happens next.

 

The book opens with a letter from Sharon Bolton:

Dear Reader,

On a spring day in 1612, a mill owner called Richard Baldwin, in the Pendle forest of Lancashire chased two local women off his land, calling them ‘witches and whores’, threatening to ‘burn one and hang the other’, and in so doing, set in motion events that led to the imprisonment, trial and execution of nine women on the charge of murder by witchcraft: the infamous Pendle Witch Trials.

Like Sharon Bolton the north of England is my homeland and just as she has always wanted to write a book about witches, I have always been fascinated by such books. So it’s no wonder that I am now immersed in her book. It’s not about the Pendle Witch Trials as such, but is set in the shadow of Pendle Hill and moves between the events of 1969 and 1999.

Chapter One

Tuesday, 10 August 1999

On the hottest day of the year, Larry Glassbrook has come home to his native Lancashire for the last time, and the townsfolk have turned out to say goodbye.

Not in a friendly way.

Blurb (Amazon):

Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.““

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

What do you think – would you read on?

First Chapter First Paragraph: Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week I’m featuring Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon, one of the books I think I’ll include in Cathy’s annual challenge, 20 Books of Summer.

Cécile is Dead (Maigret, #22)

It begins with a foggy scene.

The pipe that Detective Chief Inspector Maigret lit on coming out of his door in Boulevard Richard-Lenoir was even more delicious than usual. The first fog of the season was as pleasant a surprise as the first snow for children, especially when it was not that nasty yellowish fog you see on certain winter days, but a misty, milky vapour with halos of light in it. The air was fresh. The ends of your fingers and your nose tingled on a day like this and the soles of your shoes clicked smartly on the road.

Blurb (Amazon):

A new translation of this moving novel about the destructive power of greed, book twenty in the new Penguin Maigret series.

‘Poor Cécile! And yet she was still young. Maigret had seen her papers: barely twenty-eight years old. But it would be difficult to look more like an old maid, to move less gracefully, in spite of the care she took to be friendly and pleasant. Those black dresses that she must make for herself from bad paper patterns, that ridiculous green hat!’

In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching consequences of their actions.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret and the Spinster.

What do you think – would you read on?

First Chapter First Paragraph: On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week I’m featuring On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill. This is one of the books I chose to spell my blog’s name and when FictionFan commented that I should take it off my TBR list and put it on to my Next Up list immediately, I thought that’s a good idea! I didn’t have a Next Up list – but I have now and On Beulah Height is at the top of the list.

On Beulah Height (Dalziel & Pascoe, #17)

It begins with The Transcript of Betsy Allgood

The day they drowned Dendale I were seven years old.

I’d been three when government said they could do it, and four when the Enquiry came out in favour of Water Board, so I remember nowt of that.

Synopsis from the back cover:

They moved everyone out of Dendale that long hot summer fifteen years ago. They needed a new reservoir and an old community seemed a cheap price to pay. They even dug up the dead and moved them too.

But four inhabitants of the valley they couldn’t move, for no one knew where they were. Three little girls had gone missing, and the prime suspect in their disappearance, Benny Lightfoot.

This was Andy Dalziel’s worst case and now fifteen years later he looks set to relive it. It’s another long hot summer, another child has gone missing and as old fears resurface, someone sprays the deadly message on the walls of Danby: BENNY’S BACK

What do you think – would you read on?

I’ve enjoyed all of Reginald Hill’s books I’ve read so far, so I’m expecting to like this one too, after all FictionFan rates it and Ian Rankin is quoted on the cover saying he thinks it must rank as his best yet. It’s Book 17 in the Dalziel and Pascoe series.

First Chapter First Paragraph: The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

The Inheritance

This week I’m featuring The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, a book I’ll be reading in the next few days.

It begins:

In a green park, where troops of bright-eyed deer lay sleeping under drooping tees and a clear lake mirrored in its bosom the flowers that grew upon its edge, there stood Lord Hamilton’s stately home, half castle and half mansion. Here and there rose a gray old tower or ivy-covered arch, while the blooming gardens that lay around it and the light balconies added grace and beauty to the old decaying castle, making it a fair and pleasant home.

Synopsis:

Synopsis:

Here at last is the book “Jo” wrote. Generations of fans have longed to plumb that first romance, hinted at so captivatingly on the pages of “Little Women,” Alcott’s autobiographical classic. Now, after nearly one hundred fifty years spent among archived family documents, Louisa May Alcott’s debut novel finally reaches its eager public.

Set in an English country manor, the story follows the turbulent fortunes of Edith Adelon, an impoverished Italian orphan whose loyalty and beauty win her the patronage of wealthy friends until a jealous rival contrives to rob her of her position. In the locket around her neck, she carries a deep secret about her natural birthright. But an even greater truth lies hidden in Edith’s heart – her deep reverence for the kind and noble Lord Percy, the only friend who can save her from the deceitful, envious machinations of Lady Ida. Reminiscent of Jane Austen in its charms, this chaste but stirringly passionate novel affirms the conquering power of both love and courtesy. (Goodreads)

∼ ∼ 

The Inheritance was first published in 1997. The manuscript was found in the Houghton Library at Harvard University by two professors, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy who were researching Alcott’s letters and journals.

What do you think – would you read on?