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

‘The Toy Taker’ by Luke Delaney

The street was empty of the noise of living people, with only the sound of a million leaves hissing in the strong breeze that intensified as it blew in over Hampstead Heath in north-west London. Smart Georgian houses lined either side of the deserted Courthope Road, all gently washed in the pale yellow of the street lights, their warming appearance giving lie to the increasingly bitter cold that late autumn brought with it. Some of the shallow porches added their own light to the yellow, left on by security-conscious occupiers and those too exhausted to remember to switch them off before heading for bed….


A truly benign scene, or a silent menace about to erupt?

Those first few lines, combined with that rather gruesome cover, would definitely keep me reading on, what about you?

I also love the descriptiveness of the writing and hope that continues on throughout the story. If so, I am in for a real treat with ‘The Toy Taker’.

You can find out more about both book and author, here


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould 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!


As this was a Goodreads giveaway competition win, a lovely hardcover copy was my prized reward, courtesy of publisher, Harper Collins.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

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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  • While perhaps not as gripping as some beginnings, there is certainly an interesting descriptiveness that makes me want to continue on.

    I’m currently reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Here’s how it begins:

    There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old. She said, “Handful, your granny-mauma saw it for herself. She say they flew over trees and clouds. She say they flew like blackbirds. When we came here, we left that magic behind.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      If you had read the synopsis, then those first few lines and the following passage, which I must admit I took a sneak peek at, then you would fully appreciate that those descriptive lines are very much the lull before the storm!

      I do enjoy the horror and menace which comes with suspenseful crime thriller, however I also have a certain fondness for good descriptive writing, so if the author can keep up a good balance between the two in this book, then I shall be more than happy 🙂

      Whilst I am not sure that the first lines from ‘The Invention Of Wings’ would make me carry on reading on their own, I did check this one out on Goodreads and the synopsis sold it to me, so it is added to my ‘Want To Read’ list. Several of my circle of Goodreads friends have read and reviewed it and it receives nothing but praise and 5 star ratings, so I do hope that you also enjoy it 🙂

      I have only read one Sue Monk Kidd book, which was ‘The Secret Life Of Bees’, which I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your lines, I love our regular catch-up sessions and I hope that you have a good weekend.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      The cover artist for ‘The Toy Taker’ certainly knows how to ramp up the tension, before the potential reader even gets as far as the synopsis.

      What you can’t see on that small image, but which is clearly visible on the larger sized hardcover copy I have, is that the doll being held in such a menacing grip, is obviously made of porcelain, which looks as though it has cracked in a myriad of places, with the pressure which has been exerted by the black gloved fist – scary indeed!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always look forward to your visits and comments.

    • Hi Katherine,

      There is obviously someone lurking around this street in the dead of night, to be able to describe the scene in such great detail. My own street is very quiet, with no passing traffic, so I can visualize the secene quite easily, just by looking out of the window!

      It is already giving me the creeps and will encourage me to make sure that the house is locked securely, before I turn in for the night, especially as tonight is a particularly cold and bleak evening!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I always appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Do you know, I never even noticed that the sentences are indeed quite lengthy in this opening passage. Mind you, I probably tend to over-use the comma myself, elongating sentences which really should be much shorter and more concise!

      ‘Calm before the storm’ is definitely the feeling I am getting from those opening lines!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and have a great weekend.

  • I agree, that beginning combined with the cover pic is enticing and kind of surreal. It’s not one I’d go out of my way to read, though. But thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Sherry,

      Surreal is probably the best single word to describe what I have been waffling on about in several sentences – never use one word when ten will do – that’s me 🙂

      I have to admit that crime, thriller, action are probably my most favourite genres, however I do genuinely have very eclectic reading tastes and I have read some excellent historical and contemporary fiction over the years.

      Sorry ‘The Toy Taker’ isn’t one for you, so I appreciate even more the value of your comments. Have a good weekend.

  • The cover is fascinating. I find some clowns and dolls creepy, so I’m not sure I could get farther than the cover of this one even though the scene-setting is terrific. I suspect I was taken to the circus when I was too young to understand what clowns were and why they were coming into the audience and and getting in my face.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I too am not a huge fan of dolls, especially the porcelain ones, which are meant for collectors and ornamental use.

      I also don’t like the circus, or any shows which use clowns, although they always seem to be the most popular act with any audience and I can’t understand why!

      We love the many ‘Cirque du Soleil’ productions and have seen several of them. Even for such high end, high priced shows, the clown is still there in cameo throughout the performance and is cheered more loudly than any of the more talented acts at the end!

      I can always remember having nightmares for ages, after watching the ‘Chucky’ films, so perhaps that has something to do with it!

      I am hoping that this book doesn’t give me nightmares, just that pleasantly creepy feeling, enough to keep me reading on the edge of my seat until the last page.

      Great to hear from you. I promise that the review of ‘Through a Yellow Wood’ will be up this week 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I wonder if Luke Delaney manages to switch from the beautifully descriptive and detailed scenes, to the menacing and intense writing which seems almost certain to follow, or whether he still maintains that intense and expressive style in the frightening parts of the storyline too, in which case it will most definitely be a case of leaving the lights on whilst reading!

      I hope that your weeknd is going well so far and thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I too, am certain that I have at least one other of Luke’s books, as a physical copy, on my TBR shelves, although I have had a quick look and can’t lay my hands on it, to let you know which one it is! Not really a surprise if you could see just how crammed full the shelves are. I really do need to do another cull, but I can’t bear to part with a book I haven’t actually read 😉

      Great to hear from you and I hope that you have had a good weekend, despite the awful weather. We are travelling up to your neck of the woods next weekend, so I hope that it is going to be a little nicer by then.

      • Hi Yvonne,

        I hope the weather is good to you next weekend… We’re due snow tomorrow night, which will drift quite a bit if we’ve still got these awful gales. I’ll be off to Leicestershire towards the end of the week.

        I hope you’re well 🙂

        • We are heading up to Llandudno and Colwyn Bay and had hoped to head up across country, through the Brecons and Snowdonia, as my brother and sister-in-law haven’t been that far up into North Wales before. However, as we are making the journey up and back in one day, if the weather turns much worse, we shall stick to the motorway and main roads.

          Have a great time in Leicestershire, we have friends who live in Shepshed, Leicester, although we don’t get to see them that often.

    • Hi Joy,

      I can do deep and dark, or light and fluffy, I don’t really mind which and doesn’t have to be dependent on my mood. I am trying to work through my review list methodically, in the futile hope of clearing some of the backlog and it just works out that the next few books in the pile are crime thrillers and murder mysteries.

      Enjoy whatever genre of book takes your fancy next and have a good week.

Written by Yvonne