Monday, August 22, 2016

Hooked from the Start—The Blurb, the Setting and Key Words

When I first encountered the novel Disappear by Iain Edward Henn, the blurb caught my attention immediately. A man had disappeared eighteen years previously and his body suddenly appeared—looking exactly as he had looked back then. That was a book I had to read! And read it, I did, plus all of Mr. Henn’s subsequent books.
The same happened when I came across Sendero by Max Tomlinson. In that novel the main character is a woman called Nina caught up in a war in Peru. She becomes an officer in Cuzco’s tourist police and goes in search of her brother. But it wasn’t just the blurb that caught my eye. It was also the Peruvian setting. I know very little about South America as my own experiences take place in Mexico and Puerto Rico. The troubles in Peru presented an alien world. And again I was hooked and proceeded to read all the novels by Mr. Tomlinson, including the ones not set in South America.
But there are key words that hook me also such as “tropical island”. That kind of setting will always catch my attention. But I have been burned by just buying a book because it’s set on a tropical island. Romantic suspense on a tropical island becomes a must read but it does pay to read the book’s blurb and reviews first.
Other key words that intrigue me are “time travel”. Years ago, I read House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier and I was hooked for life with that genre. My own time travel mystery-romances were inspired by that novel (these are still works in progress although one short story has been published). And, of course, I had to read the recent novel by Marja McGraw--Choosing One Moment: A Time Travel Mystery. Time travel and mystery in one book? What more could I want?
A blurb, an intriguing setting and certain key words will grab my attention and the result is that I will buy the book, whether I know the author or not.