The open scenes-the beginning-the 'hook'- to every book needs to grab the reader's attention immediately or they are liable to close the book for good.
Here are a couple of fantastic openings:
1) Listen to me. We don't have much time.
My name is Whit Allgood. I guess you've heard of me and my sister, Wisty, and of the crazy stuff that's happened, but here's the thing: it's so much worse than you think it is. James Patterson, The Gift.
2) The man with the rubber boots stepped into the elevator behind me, but I didn't see him at first. I smelled him though-the pungent odor of smoke and cheap wine and life on the street without soap. We were alone as we moved upward, and when I finally glanced over I saw the boots, black and dirty and much too large. A frayed and tattered trench coat fell to his knees. Under it, layers of foul clothing bunched around his midsection, so that he appeared stocky, almost fat. But it wasn't from being well fed; in the wintertime in D.C., the street people wear everything they own, or so it seems. John Grisham, The Street Lawyer.
3) No amount of booze could wipe a conscience clean. Not that Mike Lawson hadn't given it one hell of a shot tonight. Ann Voss Peterson, Special Assignment.
4) "Somebody please help me! Somebody please! Can anybody hear me?"
Max's screams pierced the clear mountain air. Her throat and lungs were beginning to hurt, to burn.
The eleven year old girl was running as fast as she could from the hateful, despicable School. She was strong, but she was beginning to tire. As she ran, her long blond hair flared behind her like a beautiful silk scarf. She wa pretty, even though there were dark, plum-colored circles under her eyes.
She knew the men were coming to kill her. She could hear them hurrying through the woods behind her. James Patterson, When the Wind Blows.
These are a few of my favorite books. Do you have a favorite book with a fantastic opening?