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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

First Lines ….. ‘South Of Hell’ by P.J. Parrish

This Title Is Available From Amazon

Chapter One

‘It was just south of Hell. But if you missed the road leading in, you ended up down in Bliss. And then there was nothing to do but go back to Hell and start over again…’

Last Line

‘She was four hours ahead of him, but if he drove fast, he’d be there before dark.’


They say that the first lines of a piece of writing, are always the most difficult to set down on paper. It seems to me, that they may also be the most definitive, as I find they often set the scene in my mind, even before I have turned the first page.

I just love the first line or two from this book, they conjure up all kinds of images ….. Having researched and established that ‘Hell’ and ‘Bliss’, really do exist as small townships in Michigan (pretty much like a Hamlet over here in UK, although not quite big enough for a Village), the lines become somehow real and even more vivid

I also like a book which has reached a natural conclusion by the last page and doesn’t leave me guessing too much. I therefore decided to try including the very last line, just to see if the author had made it equally as definitive as the first line, without of course, giving too much away. I promise not to include any ‘spoilers’…

Want to take part in ‘Book Beginnings’?

If you want to share the first lines of a book you are reading, click on the link and visit Katy, at ‘A Few Pages More’

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great new reads.

Don’t forget that Katy loves to hear from you, so why not leave a comment for her at the same time.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • I think that is one of the best opening lines I have read for ages.

      Although it doesn’t really set the scene for the strange case that the character Louis Kincaid faces, it certainly grabbed my attention and made me want to read on.

    • Hi Sophia,

      As the story is progressing, it’s definitely taking a different turn to what I thought it would. Now I have absolutely no idea how it is going to end, can’t wait to find out!!!

    • When I discovered that Hell and Bliss are real townships in Michigan, I realised what a great play on words that first line is and how it can completely suck you in.
      With less than 600 residents in each of them, none of them black or foreign, you can get the gist of the storyline straight off.

  • Ha! I had no idea that those were real places! Very interesting way to start!

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

    • Hi Katy,

      I agree that it is quite an ingenious way to start the book and a great play on words.

      You need to read more, just to find out what ‘Hell’ and ‘Bliss’ actually are, and by then you are hooked!

  • Hi Yvonne,
    Thank you ever so much for including our book in your fun blog. We, too, are connoisseurs of opening lines and we are tickled that you not only liked our opening but took the time to Google the real places.

    • Hi PJ

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving comment, it is much appreciated.

      Myself and many other bloggers, often find that the first few lines of a book can be as instrumental in making the decision whether to buy or not, as the synopsis itself.

      It is also always fun to see what first lines others have come by in their mail boxes.

      The first lines of ‘South Of Hell’ are fantastic and had me hooked right from the word go.

      My review will be posted very soon.

Written by Yvonne