At Kill Zone Blog, PJ Parrish comments on the first pages of the Edgar Award nominees:
…But then I got to wondering, what are they like inside? How do these writers handle the openings of their stories? Just for fun, I thought we could take a peek here today.
The stories include a legal thriller with a tortured heroine who’s fighting the government and her own demons; an Irish thriller about a girl who falls for a convicted serial killer only to find out ten years later he’s not what he seemed; a fixer whose client is a big-time politician with secrets someone will murder to protect; a cop-cum-PI who’s trying to find the man who framed him and cost him his badge; a resurrection of the iconic Philip Marlowe, now 72 and retired in LA; and a Victorian adventuress trying to unravel of web of intrigue at an Egyptian dig.
Personally, I don’t find most of these thumbnail descriptions all that enthralling, but that last one sounds pretty neat. Victorian adventuress trying to unravel a web of intrigue at an Egyptian dig? This is
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn. Let’s take a look:
Hah, well, this particular book may be a little … what is the term I’m looking for? Mannered, perhaps. Overdone, for humorous effect, but I don’t necessarily find that kind of thing works well for me. I do think it’s clever, well done for the style, and would certainly work for many readers.
One thing to notice, I think, is that every novel opens with setting. There is a sense of place from the beginning. I don’t think that’s coincidence. Many workshop entries that I’ve seen essentially open in a white room. I don’t like all these openings myself, but I can see why they would appeal to judges — and to readers.