BOOKCASE with Alison Layland

To begin at the beginning… Alison Layland praises the Prologue, with extracts from her novels.

Crime Cymru

In this series, we invite our Crime Cymru authors to showcase an excerpt from their books. This week, Alison Layland writes in praise of the prologue in crime fiction, with illustrations from her novels, Someone Else’s Conflict and Riverflow.

Begin at the beginning

Sound, if obvious, advice. But where is the best place for a novel to start? Many, especially in the crime genre, open with a prologue – and there, opinion is divided.

Some say a novel should dive straight in to the main story. If the prologue has something worthwhile to add, why not make it the first chapter?

Others, myself included, find an atmospheric prologue enticing, like a map – I love a book with a map. Far from delaying the action or distracting the reader, a well-written prologue is an apéritif, giving the reader a foretaste of the main course to come.

Although neither has a…

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