When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

When reading the opening line of a book, I want it to make me want to read the second line, and that line makes me want to read the third keeping me engaged.

A great first line produces a reaction from its readers while also raising questions that’ll hook them in. Here are 5 of my favorite opening lines from crime fiction:

5. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.

Paul Auster, City of Glass

4. It’s hard to get lost when you’re coming home from work.

Walter Mosley, Blonde Faith

3. She was ten years old, but knew enough to wipe clean the handle of the bloody kitchen knife.

Annie Hauxwell, A Bitter Taste

2. When the car stopped rolling, Parker kicked out the windshield and crawled through onto the wrinkled hood, Glock first.

Richard Stark, Backflash

1. Jack Reacher ordered espresso, double, no peel, no cube, foam cup, no china, and before it arrived he saw a man’s life change forever.

Lee Child, The Hard Way

What are one of your favorite books first liners?

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