How does that grab you? Great openings to new books

The first line of a top-notch novel usually has a lot of punch -- to "grab" you. My long-time favorite is "The Sun Also Rises," which manages to tell you a great deal about one of the main characters, but even more about the narrator: "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn." <!--more-->This weekend The San Francisco Chronicle has a feature titled "Grabbers--first sentences from new books," in which the newspaper highlights sharp openings to some current books by Katharine Beutner and Malcolm Nance, among others. The 'paper was good enough to include among those they commend the first lines of THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, my new Palestinian crime novel, which is set in New York City: "As he left the R train and came up the narrow, gum-blackened steps from the Fourth Avenue subway in Brooklyn, Omar Yussef glanced around for armed robbers and smiled." Do you have a favorite opening from current fiction or nonfiction?

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Comment by B.R.Stateham on March 2, 2010 at 1:23am
Thanks, Matt. 'appreciate it.
Comment by Matt Rees on March 1, 2010 at 4:41pm
I love that breeze in the dead man's hair, BR! Great stuff. Both the others loaded with a vague sense of doom, which may be an important factor to consider in hooking a reader to a crime novel in particular.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on March 1, 2010 at 12:46pm
"A breeze played through the dead man's hair. An unwanted breeze."

From A TASTE OF OLD REVENGE, the second book of my Turner Hahn/Frank Morales series.
Comment by O'Neil De Noux on March 1, 2010 at 11:57am
The last camel collapsed at noon.
from THE KEY TO REBECCA by Ken Follett

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