Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A sensual episode

I suspect it's this bit out of Death in Malta that has led a number of my fans to gift the novel - in eBook or paperback - to reader friends who love a bit of romantic stuff in their mysteries.

From page 103 -

Hours later, Gregory could not remember how they got to the big iron bed in the front room. Pushed as it was underneath the window, it exposed them to the full brunt of the fireworks’ noise, but by that stage he was totally oblivious to the bangs. Or was he? Forever after, Gregory thought, as he stood at the door in the corridor, the festive explosion of fireworks would arouse in him the quick erotic sensation he felt that evening.
     They had tumbled fully clothed onto the made bed, kissing deeply. By the same lapse of time and memory, how they got out of their clothes and under the sheets was lost now. He might remember one day, after this first rush of excitement cooled. He remembered only the sensation of her warm tense body against his and the way her hands fluttered over his skin. She was at once compliant and explorative, bringing new feelings to his body. It was not surprising, as it was some time since he had been with a woman. What was revelatory to him that night, even before their lovemaking ended and Patricia drifted off to sleep, was the awareness of involvement, the tender certainty of relating to her in more than just a superficial or physical way.
     In spite of efforts to chase the thought away, Gregory remained entranced. ‘Come on, man – this is not the first and only casual encounter you’ve had.’ He mumbled to himself as he dusted a hand past his face, as if to dispel any entrapping tendrils she may have woven around him. But he knew it was not a casual feeling.
     He watched her sleeping form from where he stood at the door and felt again the passion, the wild desire he experienced and satisfied so completely. He felt again her breasts, the soft skin stretched over her hip bones under his hands, the straight series of knobs her spine made down her back. He re-experienced the flush of excitement as he recalled the quick movement of her body against his, the urgency she neither imitated nor faked. And her soft hoarse voice.
     He longed to wake her, to lie again beside her and hold her as before in his arms, but he slid softly under the sheets on the side of the bed furthest from the window and lay on his back, staring at the ceiling, which was becoming gradually lighter. He realised he had not noticed when the fireworks stopped. 


 If you are an author, we can discuss the difficulty - or otherwise - of using sensual or erotic passages in fiction.

If you are a reader, tell me whether the latest trend toward explicit intimacy in fiction is to your liking or not.


  1. I certainly don't like it to be too explicit, simply because for me it is best left to the imagination. I like to know if they made love, certainly, as that's usually pretty important to the story, but if it doesn't reveal anything new or important about the characters, then I can't see that it's all that necessary. ;-)

  2. I agree with BWHEATHER; sometimes explicit feels like gratuitous, as if an editor or agent said, "On page 35 you need to add a sex scene." I have blogged about this issue and think that writing about sex, death, love, is a function of both the story and the personality behind the page. Very complicated at times.

  3. Rosanne, I've answered similarly to those above on the Goodreads site.

  4. Nice excerpt. You told it well without giving too much detail. I like some things left to the imagination. And it still had passion. This kind of scene is not always easy for writers. Good luck with your new book and your writing!