Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings #19

It's Friday . . . time to share excerpts from one of my current reads with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
This week's selection:
A Commonplace Killing: A Novel

BeginningThat neglected triangle where the Camden, Holloway and Caledonian Roads intersect, long oppressed by soot and the continuous rumble of the railway, its bounds set by the gloomy bulk of the women's prison and the desolation of the empty Livestock Market, had been done for long before the Hitler War blasted every last vestige of respectability to smithereens.  
My thoughts:  This book's cover is unusual because it provides the story's location, time frame, and a mysterious teaser.  The very long first sentence paints a stark picture of the town, and makes me curious about its post-war inhabitants.  
Siân Busby died on September 4, 2012, a year before the publication of this, her last, novel.  The author dedicated the book: "For my darling boys, with all my love."  It includes an introduction written by her husband, Robert Peston, a touching commentary on Busby's life and work.  

Page 56Why were there always so many obstacles in her life?  Why did nothing ever go right for her?  She knew that she ought to be grateful for them all having come through the war when so many others hadn't; she ought to be grateful, but she really wasn't.  This was the deep, dark secret of her soul.
From On a damp July morning in 1946, two schoolboys find a woman’s body in a bomb site in north London. The woman is identified as Lillian Frobisher, a wife and mother who lived in a war-damaged terrace a few streets away.

The police assume that Lil must have been the victim of a vicious sexual assault; but the autopsy finds no evidence of rape, and Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper turns his attention to her private life.

How did Lil come to be in the bomb site – a well-known lovers’ haunt? If she had consensual sex, why was she strangled? Why was her husband seemingly unaware that she had failed to come home on the night she was killed?

In this gripping murder story, Siân Busby gradually peels away the veneer of stoicism and respectability to reveal the dark truths at the heart of postwar austerity Britain.

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Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings #19 was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.  


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