Anyone familiar with my writing knows how big I am on hooks. First sentence hooks, chapter hooks, scene hooks...all kinds of hooks. Nearly every reader letter I've had (two a day since November 2007) has mentioned "I couldn't put your book down."
In large part, I think that's God's grace on my writing....gotta give the one credit who most deserves it. That said, I think also part of the reason is that I learned (also by God's grace) how to execute strategically placed lines of text to hook readers and keep them reading.
There is a GREAT article on this, and other aspects of crafting fiction here today on historical author Jennifer Hudson Taylor's blog:
JENNIFER'S BLOG ARTICLE ON GREAT BEGINNINGS