Great first lines in crime fiction
But what about crime stories? What opening line (or paragraph) gave you that frisson of excitement that made you keep reading? My candidate for the Moby Dick of crime-story first lines, the opening that everyone knows, is this, from Raymond Chandler's "Red Wind":
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot, dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.Here's the opener of the book I'm reading now, Ken Bruen's Ammunition: "Brant was on his third whisky, knocking it back like a good un."
And now, readers, you have the floor. What are your favorite crime-story opening lines?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007