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Home » Books & writing

First Impressions 8.24.12

Submitted by on August 23, 2012 – 10:30 pm 17 Comments
three day affair kardos

I’m back to sampling openers of new books to see which ones I should read first. Because of busy stuff, I went about five days last week without reading for pleasure and was getting twitchy, so I had to pick up some books lest I look like a crack addict.

Based on their first paragraphs, these are the ones that look most promising.

The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos (September 4, Mysterious Press)


Six years ago, my band’s bassist was shot dead in a New York nightclub. Her name was Gwen Dalton, and she’d only been with the band a few months when she was killed.

Our original bassist, Andy, had surprised us all when he decided to move to Los Angeles with his girlfriend. We were annoyed that he would leave New York just when the band was finally creating a stir. High Noon had been together for five years, and we’d worked hard to build up a following. We were finally packing the Wetlands and CBGB, and a small indie record label was talking to us about recording a CD. So how can you leave us now? we asked him. How can you do that to us?

“I’m doing it for love,” he explained.

And how do you argue with that?

Trust Your Eyes by Lindwood Barclay (September 4, New American Library)


It was just by chance he turned down Orchard Street and saw the window when he did. It easily could have been a week from now, or a month, even a year. But it turned out that this was going to be the day.

Sure, he would have wandered down here eventually. Sooner or later, when he got to a new city, he hit every street. He always started out intending to be methodical about it—follow one street from beginning to end, then head over a block and backtrack on a parallel street, like doing the aisles in a grocery store—but then he’d get to a cross street and something would catch his eye, and all good intentions would be abandoned.

The Right Hand by Derek Haas (November 13, Mulholland Books)


He smelled wood burning, and also flesh, like a pig roasting on a spit, and only then did he realize he was on fire. The pain came next, searing and relentless, and it drew him out of unconsciousness like a hypnotist snapping his fingers. He jolted upright and rolled, tamping out the flames at least temporarily.


So, are you interested in reading any of these? Which one would you read first?

Happy Fridayyyy!



  • Lauren says:

    Three Day Affair – JUST got this one based on ravings of Keith Rawson. I think he said it was one of the best books he read this year. So looking forward to it. Opening is interesting, but I’m not sure it alone would make me pick up the book.

    Trust Your Eyes – This probably wouldn’t grab me if I didn’t know it was Linwood Barclay. Barclay is always good for a fun, entertaining, page-turner. I’m guessing this one will be no different. And the opening maybe intrigues me the most because I want to know what’s in that window. Perhaps I’m a closet Peeping Tom. Ok, perhaps I’m not so much in the closet.

    The Right Hand – Have wanted to read Derek since seeing him at SF Bouchercon and just haven’t gotten around to it. This opening makes me want to know what the book is about, but doesn’t by itself make me want to read the book. Need to know more. Have you read any of Derek’s stuff?

  • All three sound interesting, but not enough that I would drop anything I’m reading right now.

    • Lauren says:

      And what, pray tell, besides Elvis or Joe, really would be good enough to make you drop what you’re reading? BTW, what are you reading, anything good? I’d suggest another readalong, but we all failed so miserably the last time around…. 🙂

      • Pop Culture Nerd says:

        I want to know what you’re reading, too!

      • We did, didn’t we? I did read the Piccirilli book though. Liked it, did not love it. I would probably read another if he turns it into a series. Just finished a true crime, DEATH IN THE CITY OF LIGHT, about a serial killer in Nazi-occupied Paris. Interesting, but the narrative is not well constructed. Just starting Craig McDonald’s latest, PARTS UNKNOWN.

        Yeah, I’d drop anything for Elvis and Joe. Anything I was reading, that is. Ahem.

        • Lauren says:

          We all (well, except for Slacker Central) read it, we just never talked about it. Rhonda read it, too. I had read one prior TP and it hadn’t knocked my socks off. Liked this one more. My favorite thing was that they were all named after dogs, but the dog had three human names.

          I’m not sure I’d put down Craig’s for something else, either.

        • Jann says:

          I’d drop anything, reading material or not…

  • Sarah RH says:

    THE RIGHT HAND looks most promising for me. But then again, I’m always up for a little morbid opener. TRUST YOUR EYES next. And I’m not sure about the first. Didn’t really hook me.

    Oh, and what’s a readalong?

    Thanks Elyse!

    • Pop Culture Nerd says:

      That one sounds most interesting to me, too. A guy on fire whose flesh smells like pork? I’m there!

      We tried to do a readalong a month or so ago, which means a group of us would read the same book in a designated period and then discuss it. Lauren and Naomi kept up their end, but I failed miserably due to other reading/reviewing obligations. I really need an app that will help me read while sleeping.

      • Sarah RH says:

        When you find the app that does that, let me know! I’d get more reading done that way! Well, if/when your obligations allow, let me know if you do another readalong. I have never done one. I think I’m too chicken, but I’d be willing to try. lol

        • Lauren says:

          A readalong is nothing to be chicken about. Some of us just try to read a book at about the same time so we can talk about it, but then we never do. Easy peasy. The smart ones like Elyse don’t even bother reading the book in anticipation of the fake conversation we’re never going to have. 🙂

  • Jann says:

    None of them grab me, but Trust Your Eyes reminds me too much of one of the Reacher stories.

  • EIREGO says:

    Please never stop doing the First Impressions feature. I may not always get my comments in right away, but it saves me so much time whenever I am in a bookstore.

    THREE DAY AFFAIR – Gotta say that giving up the band for love (and the narrator seems to understand) will never work for me. Could never read this.

    TRUST YOUR EYES – Interesting opening. Combine the opening lines with the cover art and I will keep reading for at least a couple of chapters.

    THE RIGHT HAND – This reads just gory enough to hold my attention. WINNER!

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