First Chapter, First Paragraph & Teaser Tuesday: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

First Chapter, First Paragraph, is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea.  Anyone can play — just copy the first paragraph of the first chapter (or prologue) and include a picture of the book cover. Leave your link at Bibliophile by the Sea.  Today’s intro and teaser are from a book I’ve started out of turn and may not be able to put down until I’m done.  I was first introduced to the infamous Dreyfus affair by Paulette Mahurin and her wonderful book, To Live Out Loud.  Now, hoping to possibly learn more or at least enjoy an author new to me and a story told from a different perspective, here is the opening from An Officer and a Spy:

‘Major Picquart to see the Minister of War . . .’

The sentry on the rue Saint-Dominique steps out of his box to open the gate and I run through a whirl of snow across the windy courtyard into the warm lobby of the hôtel de Brienne, where a sleek young captain of the Republican Guard rises to salute me. I repeat, with greater urgency: ‘Major Picquart to see the Minister of War . . .!’

We march in step, the captain leading, over the black and white marble of the minister’s official residence, up the curving staircase, past suits of silver armour from the time of Louis the Sun King, past that atrocious piece of Imperial kitsch, David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps at the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, until we reach the first floor, where we halt beside a window overlooking the grounds and the captain goes off to announce my arrival, leaving me alone for a few moments to contemplate something rare and beautiful: a garden made silent by snow in the centre of a city on a winter’s morning. Even the yellow centre of a city on a winter’s morning. Even the yellow electric lights in the War Ministry, shimmering through the gauzy trees, have a quality of magic.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, now being hosted by Ambrosia of  The Purple Booker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  So, from the same book:

The day fades in the window. At seven, the bells of Our Lady of Rouen begin to peal — heavy and sonorous, the noise rolls across the river like a barrage, and when it stops, the sudden silence seems to hang in the air like smoke. p.120

Have you read this book?  Other books by Robert Harris?  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Leave a comment and a link to your First Chapter, First Paragraph and/or Tuesday Teaser!  Thanks for coming by.


About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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3 Responses to First Chapter, First Paragraph & Teaser Tuesday: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

  1. Pingback: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris | Ms M's Bookshelf

  2. I’m not sure if I’ve read any of Harris’s books. I know my Dad was always a fan. Unfortunately they don’t really appeal but will be interested to hear what you think


  3. I’ve not read any of Robert Harris’s books although I’m not really sure why except the ones I’ve looked at seem to be marketed more for men and my eyes have slid over them – this one does have a good opener so I would keep reading.


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