The First Two Pages: “The Rescue” by Scott Adlerberg

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Despite the fact that blogs are dead (or so it’s been said), I’m a regular reader of them—particularly group blogs with shifting participants, such as Criminal Minds, Do Some Damage, Femme Fatales, Jungle Red Writers, SleuthSayers, and The Wickeds, just to name a few standouts. Among those I’m also a regular follower of specific writers whose essays always strike me as carefully crafted, thoughtful, and provocative. Among that latter group, Scott Adlerberg stands tall; whether he’s writing about books or stories or movies or his own personal life, I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his essays that I haven’t learned something from or that I haven’t finished without finding myself seeing things in a fresh way.

Scott is also a tremendously fine fiction writer too—both an accomplished novelist, with books including Graveyard Love and Jack Waters, and a gifted short story writer, and it’s one of his new stories that he’s writing about today, from the anthology Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic, edited by Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle. (Scott also contributed an earlier First Two Pages essay about Jack Waters as well.)

This is the third essay in a series focusing on contributors to COVID-19 benefit anthologies. In recent weeks, the First Two Pages has also hosted essays by Lynn Chandler Willis and Richard Helms on their stories for the anthology Writers Crushing COVID-19: An Anthology for Coronavirus Relief, edited by Lawrence Kelter. Proceeds from each anthology benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

I hope you’ll enjoy Scott’s essay here as much as I did—and be prompted, as I was, into reading the full story too!

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.