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

The High Flyer
by Susan Howatch
First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts

This is a meme for all you ‘First Page Browsers‘

Cover Image Of 'The High Flyer' By Susan Howatch



“When I first saw my temporary secretary it never occurred to me to flirt with him.

Even in 1990, when suing for sexual harassment was still considered to be primarily an American activity, an office flirtation would have been considered unwise for a high flyer, and besides, this particular male hardly struck me as being irresistible.

He had curly hair, chocolate-coloured eyes and a chunky, cherubic look.

My taste in men has never encompassed overgrown choirboys”

Cover Image Of 'The High Flyer' By Susan Howatch

So, you have taken a sneak peek, would you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

Image Of Author Susan Howatch


Cover Image Of 'The High Flyer' By Susan HowatchSuccessful London lawyer Carter Graham has power, sex appeal, and a well-ordered life. Everything has gone according to plan, including her recent marriage to Kim Betz, an investment banker with the right combination of looks and position. On the surface it appears to be a match made in heaven.

The only problem is Kim’s ex-wife. Sophie begins to follow Carter like a shadow, making outrageous claims about Kim’s involvement in the occult.

Convincing herself that Sophie is mad, Carter moves ahead with her life. But something is amiss–and as Sophie’s stories are corroborated by other unwelcome disclosures from Kim’s past, Carter is thrown into a terrifying web of suspicion and betrayal, pushing her sanity to the edge.

In desperation, Carter seeks help from Nicholas Darrow, the charismatic priest of St. Benet’s Healing Center. Though a religious skeptic, Carter hopes to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to envelop her life–and begins a compelling journey into the very nature of good and evil, wisdom and redemption. . . .

A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit your host, Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!



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 really liked this book! I read it a few years back and it really got me excited to read the other books in this trilogy and her other Church of England books. She knows how to spin a yarn!

    • Hi Gilion,

      I have only read a couple of her very early books, from back in the 1970s, which were stand alone stories, and these weren’t in the least bit religious. Susan seems to be a very private person and reading up on her limited biography details, I got the distinct impression that her style and genre of writing changed quite a lot mid way through her career.

      I hope that I enjoy this one as much as you did 🙂

    • Hi Anne,

      Umm … Let me see!

      Well you had a fifty fifty chance of being right … and you were wrong!

      I haven’t started reading this one properly yet, however I’m not giving anything away, as the answer to your question is in the synopsis. I don’t think that a cherubic secretary is in her league at all 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments

    • Hi Sandra,

      I’m not so sure that our high flyer is really attracted to her male secretary …

      “My taste in men has never encompassed overgrown choirboys”

      Although I do think, from reading the premise, that he does have a role to play in future decisions and actions that our high flyer needs to take …

      “And what is the significance of the other new man in Carter’s life, her secretary Eric Tucker?”

      This role reversal should certainly make for an intriguing read.

      Thanks for visiting today, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

  • I’ll admit the first lines don’t really grab me, but knowing nothing at all about the book’s synopsis, I can’t say if I would want to read it or not. It requires further investigation!

    I’m still reading the same thing I was last week, so nothing to share from me.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Susan Howatch is an interesting author.

      A very private person who has left behind a very minimal biography, she seems to have written regularly between 1956 and 2003, when she appears to have bowed out of the limelight completely.

      Her early stand alone novels were superseded, from about 1985 onwards, by a couple of series which took on a much stronger religious focus. ‘The High Flyer’ comes from the St. Benet’s Trilogy, which Susan is reported to have written whilst living in the Cathedral City of Salisbury.

      You will be pleased to know that the books are all individual, stand alone, storylines and whilst I read at least three of her early books, this is my first foray into the new period of her life and writing. This book has been sat on my shelves for many years and as we now live only a stones throw from the beautiful City of their conception, I thought it about time that I dusted it off and read it!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post, even if it ultimately transpires that this isn’t one for you. I hope that you had a great weekend 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      It sounds as though this high flyer certainly has things all mapped out to get where she wants to be and I’m not sure that non-descript temporary secretary fits into her plans just yet – although I wonder if a potential dalliance might be on the cards for later 😉

      Thanks for the interest in this one and have a good weekend yourself 🙂

  • It’s interesting to read about an attraction between a female boss and her male secretary, though there’s no way of knowing from these lines alone if she’ll wind up flirting (or doing anything more unethical with him), or if these are just her idle thoughts. Or maybe they’ll even have a different sort of relationship, like a brother-sister dynamic or something. Anyway, I haven’t heard of this author, and I’m interested in good books that have women in some position of power, so I’m making note of this one.

    • Hi Hila,

      Checking out a few of the synopses for Susan’s books, just to satisfy myself, I’m sure I am correct in saying that many of her stories feature powerful and strong female lead characters.

      Susan doesn’t appear to have written any published novels since 2003, so it will be good to read this book and re-acquaint myself with her work.

      Judging by the blurb on the book jacket, Carter has too many plans lined up to forward her career and private life, to be side-tracked by a temporary secretary … but you never can tell !

      Thanks for playing along this week and I hope that your weekend was good 🙂

    • Hi Lisa,

      Well, I guess that what having gender equality does for you!

      Perhaps even way back in 1999, when ‘The High Flyer’ was first published, author Susan Howatch could see the writing on the wall!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

  • Both the author and this book are new to me and I like the way it sounds – I also couldn’t agree with you more…lol…maybe he doesn’t want to be considered good looking. I’ll be adding this to my list. Here’s my Friday meme

    • Hi Maria,

      It still seems strange trying to relate to the possibilities of gender equality in reverse. Sexual harassment and related offences, are still predominantly a male on female crime, at least here in the UK. It will definitely break new territory when high profile offenders from the female group start appearing on the charge sheets!

      Carter is already making disparaging remarks about the looks and appearance of her male secretary, so I can’t wait to find out where that’s going in the storyline.

      Thanks for visiting this week, it is always good to chat with you 🙂

Written by Yvonne