It always takes my breath away, that moment when I pick up the book I’ve chosen to read next and the first line gets me. It is so much like meeting someone and instantly knowing you and they will be friends or lovers or for that matter, enemies. That quickening, the slow deep breath I take after unconsciously holding my breath as I open that book and find the first page. It happened to me this morning, over my first coffee of the day. I picked up Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver and held it, feeling definite stirrings of scepticism. The New James Bond Novel, it says on the front cover, which is all white with a waft of brown smoke, red lettering overlaid. I’ve never even read an Ian Fleming Bond book. I have read plenty of Deaver books, though. I love the dynamic, intelligent, human writing of Jeffrey Deaver and that’s why I picked up this book at a local second hand book shop.
He had me at the first line, but reading it again, I can’t really tell why; just that the way he puts words together gets me excited. I can tell, already, that I have chosen well. I’m going on another, very human adventure with Jeffrey Deaver. He’s going to show me a world of characters and places I’ve never visited and never dreamed of placing together, in my mind or on the page. He won’t let me down, and he never has. It’s no wonder we readers become so attached to our favourite writers, they give us such rich gifts. We feel as though we journey with them through the pages of their books, we feel so deeply all of the emotions their stories stir in us, only tearing ourselves away for a bathroom break or to slap some food together.
Time now for me to make another cup of coffee, have some breakfast, check my emails, check Facebook, write some of my own book. I know that at the end of all of this, Carte Blanche will be waiting for me, with some lunch, with my mobile switched to silent, with my laptop closed and silent. For an hour or so, I will pour myself into that other world and I will live inside that book.