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Crime and thriller opening lines that pack formidable punches.

Here are 10 of our favourite opening lines from crime and thriller releases of the past 12 months. How do they measure up to your all-time favourites? Here’s hoping the next year brings the same levels of intensity…

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox 
‘The real trouble came at midnight.’

We Can See You by Simon Kernick
‘Even the most perfect life can shatter in seconds, and Brook Connor’s nightmare began approximately two minutes after she walked through her front door.’

Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson
‘It was the dripping that woke her. And the smell.’

Revenge by James Patterson
‘She locked the door, double-checked the gun was in place and took up position on the bed, drawing the laptop towards her, ready for her next customer.’

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
‘The road curves and twists unexpectedly as it leads higher and deeper into the Catskill Mountains, as if the further you get from civilization, the more uncertain the path.’

The Break Line by James Brabazon
‘It began a long time ago. I was nineteen then and a soldier. Not a killer.’

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson
‘“How did you find me?” the woman asked. There was a tremor in her voice; her face was frightened.’

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
‘Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.’

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
‘The girl’s head rested on a small pile of orange-and-brown leaves.’

Under Your Wings by Tiffany Tsao
‘When your sister murders three hundred people, you can’t help but wonder why – especially if you were one of the intended victims.’

  • Ex-cop Ted Conkaffey is slowly rebuilding his life in Crimson Lake, and getting to know his three-year-old daughter, Lillian. But when he and his PI partner Amanda take on the case of a boy who seems to have literally disappeared into thin air, his job once again threatens everything . . .

  • Three bodies. One suspect. And a kidnapped child who isn’t there. The new high-octane thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Simon Kernick

  • A nail-biting thriller that turns popular true-crime such as Serial and Making A Murderer on its head, Greenlight will shock with twists and turns you’ll never see coming.

  • A former SAS soldier is entangled in a gripping tale of murder, betrayal and revenge in this action-packed stand-alone from the world's bestselling thriller writer.

  • A perfect getaway to a beautiful, remote hotel turns deadly in this claustrophobic, pulse-pounding and unputdownable thriller from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller, Shari Lapena.

  • A compelling and suspense-filled debut novel from internationally bestselling author James Brabazon.

  • Nordic Noir goes Icelandic with the internationally bestselling Dark Iceland series launch.

  • An addictively suspenseful new novel set in the glamorous world of the New York Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped.

  • Children aren't always so innocent in this Stephen King-style thriller, backed by MJ's biggest marketing campaign for a debut this year.

  • A powerful and evocative literary thriller from a stunning new Australian voice, for fans of Donna Tartt and Alice Sebold.

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