Hello SE Readers! As a reader, a good cover is often the first thing that draws me to a novel, particularly with a new or unknown author. If the artwork isn’t impressive, I’m likely not going to read the blurb, let alone purchase the book.
There have been times when I liked a cover, found the blurb interesting, and purchased the book only to be disappointed. But if I were to guess, I’d estimate that ninety percent of the covers that drew me in ultimately led to a satisfying read. Such was the case when I read my first Mary Higgins-Clark novel.
Although I read a variety of genres, I prefer mystery and suspense. I still recall one evening visiting a brick and mortar bookstore with my brother in the late 1970s. I hadn’t intended to purchase anything, but while waiting for him I began to peruse the fiction section and came across a title, Where Are the Children.
I pulled the paperback from the shelf and looked at the front. The single red mitten, the old house, and the lake in the background drew me in. I read the blurb, purchased the book, took it home and read it without putting it down. From there on, I had a favorite author. Since then I’ve read the majority of her fifty plus novels.
I recently viewed this book on Amazon only to find a new, modernized cover. If I wasn’t familiar with the story, even though the title intrigued me and the blurb remains the same, I probably wouldn’t give the book a second glance based on the cover alone.
In the original cover (even without knowing the title), the lone mitten tells me something has happened to a child. Probably kidnapped. I don’t think the new cover depicts kidnapped children at all, but rather ones who are home and waiting for a missing parent. Maybe I just don’t get the modern-day concept of “good” cover art.
Although my TBR list grows by leaps and bounds and never moves to the “read” category as fast, I recently purchased a novel by an author who is new to me. I’ve not finished reading The Dry by Jane Harper, but so far it’s held my attention. (The days of when I was able to read a book in one sitting have long sinced passed.)
I admit this cover didn’t grab me as much as Where Are the Children did years ago. However, the whispery clouds against the stars, along with the tall, dry grass was enough for me to take a closer look and purchase the book:
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.
Sound interesting? What do you think about the old and new covers for Where Are the Children? Would you purchase the book based on either of them? What about The Dry?