Welcome to today’s post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For each day, I’ll be sharing the opening paragraphs to a book that starts with that letter and is sitting on my shelves or my Kindle.

R is for Ratlines

Ratlines by Stuart Neville

"You don't look like a Jew," Helmut Krauss said to the man reflected in the window pane.

Beyond the glass, rolling white waves threw themselves against the rock of Galway Bay, the Atlantic glowering beyond. The guesthouse in Salthill was basic, but clean. The small seaside town outside Galway City hosted families from all over Ireland seeking a few days of salt air and sunshine during the summer months. Sometimes it provided beds fro unmarried couples, fornicators and adulterers with the nerve to bluff their way past the morally upright proprietors of such establishments.

Krauss knew so because he had enjoyed the company of several ladies in guesthouses like this one, taking bracing walks along the seafront, enduring overcooked meals in mostly empty dining rooms, then finally rattling the headboard of whatever bed they had taken. He carried a selection of wedding rings in his pocket, alongside the prophylactics.

This dreary island, more grey and green, so choked by the Godly, provided him few pleasures. So why not enjoy the odd sordid excursion with a needful woman?

So, what do you think? Read it soon or give it away?


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