Thursday, January 21, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings


It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts 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.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Playing Nice by JP Delaney. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.

Beginning: 1
It was just an ordinary day.

If this were a color piece or a feature, the kind of thing I used to write on a daily basis, the editor would have rejected it just for that opening sentence. Openers need to hook people, Pete, she'd tell me, tossing my pages back at me across my desk. Paint a picture, set a scene. Be dramatic. In travel journalism especially, you need a sense of place. Take me on a journey.

So: It was just an ordinary day in Willesden Green, north London.

Page 56: I looked at her, aghast. Was it possible she didn't know?

My thoughts: This is the latest novel by the author of The Girl Before, an engrossing thriller that I read a few years ago. I really like his writing style, which I find engaging, as well as his interesting plot developments.

From GoodReads: What if you found out that your family isn't yours at all? How far would you go to protect them? A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before. . . .

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son, Theo, isn't actually his son--he is the Lamberts', switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they've been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents--or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts' glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe. 

They are done playing nice.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, It cannot be republished without attribution.


  1. Great intro! It sounds intriguing... I hope you can stop by:


  2. I really loved this book! I am glad you are enjoying it! Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED”

  3. I haven't heard of this one or read anything by this author. The quotes are intriguing. Enjoy your current read!

  4. That's a good opening. Immediately draws you in.

    "Aghast".... If I just think how many times in my teaching career I've had to explain that word to the kiddies!! I should do a Wondrous Words Wednesday about it!

    Happy reading and enjoy your weekend!

    Elza Reads

  5. I really need to try this author. Funny reflection on first sentence by the author!
    Mine is here:

  6. That sounds excellent! Sharing that beginning, which is about beginnings, is very meta. :)

  7. I'm intrigued for more! Happy weekend!

  8. A very solid start to your book. I'd read on to find out what happens on the ordinary day. My book this week is titled Kent State

  9. This sounds good, Catherine! I love the opening you shared. It sounded like conversations I've had with myself when it comes to writing. LOL Have a great weekend!

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