Opening Lines – Near Enemy

We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover (yet, publishing companies spend big bucks on cover design/art). But, the opening sentence(s)/paragraph(s) are fair game. Technically, I’m cheating here — I skipped the first eight lines (Chapter 1), this is from Chapter 2, but it’s my blog so I can ignore my own rules, right?

Dare you not to read the rest of the book


This used to be a city of locks.
Every home, at least five, down the door, like a vault.
Chain lock.
Rim lock.
Fox lock.
Knob lock.
Funny name, that last one.
Dead. Bolt.
Neither word exactly conjures security.
But no one bothers with that many locks in New York anymore. City’s safer. Or at least emptier. No end of vacancies. And no one bothers to burgle anymore. Nothing left to burgle. Everything’s picked clean, and anyone who still lives in Manhattan and has something of real value to protect — family, dignity, vintage baseball-card collection — does it with a shotgun, not a deadbolt. So the real problem, for the burglar, isn’t getting in. It’s getting back out.
After all, if you apply enough force, deadbolts give.
Shotguns take.

from Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh


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