Friday 56

I’m excited to have found this fun meme, hosted by Freda’s Voice. The idea is beautifully simple: turn to page 56 of your book (56% in an eBook), and post a non-spoiler sentence or two from that page.

I have been dipping into Mary Stewart’s Wildfire at Midnight again this week. Published in 1956, this book is a murder-mystery set on the Isle of Skye in 1953 at the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and in tandem with this there is the race to climb Everest. This climbing expedition is cleverly mirrored in the book by so much of the story being set on and about Skye’s Cuillin mountain range, described on the walkhighlands website as ‘ the most spectacular and challenging mountains in Britain. These are peaks of which dreams are made – and nightmares!’

Here we join Gianetta in the corridor of the remote hotel in which she is staying, at about 2am. She is already nervous at wandering the hotel so late at night – you’ll need to read the book to find out why – and then she hears something…

But there was something about the quality of the whispering that was oddly disquieting. It was as if the soft, almost breathless ripple of sound in the darkness held some sort of desperation, some human urgency, whether of anger or passion or fear, which communicated itself to me through the closed panels, and made the hairs prickle along my forearms as if a draught of chilly wind had crept through a crack in the door.

(Taken from Wildfire at Midnight, Hodder 1st edition, 1956, p56)

I thoroughly recommend this book for its suspense, characters and setting.