#64 Crapometer

Genre: thriller

Faithful Execution

For Emma Patchett, an innocent 26-year-old, what begins as a nerve-(w)racking State Dinner turns into tragedy. Emma, a junior scheduler on Vice President Veronica Diener’s staff, is seated next to the Norwegian Oil Minister at a banquet. Before the dessert plates are cleared away, the minister dies, a victim of poison.

I can tell you that unless the Oil Minister is a total pervert and insisted on sitting next to a young pretty girl, the protocol officers would not seat a junior staffer at the same table, let alone next to a cabinet minister.

The Norwegian minister was in the United States to negotiate an oil deal with the President, a deal the Vice President opposes. Emma soon believes the Vice President will do anything - even kill - to undo this deal and rise to power. The Saudis are manipulating the Vice President into assassinating the President to punish him for moving away from the Saudis politically and for brokering the oil agreement with Norway.

Emma's friend Lars Utgard, assistant to the minister, is implicated in his death. Emma tries to help Lars extricate himself with the reluctant assistance of her suitor, Secret Service Agent Christian Whittenberg.

As Emma gets too close to the truth, she is identified as a threat to the conspirators. The Saudis have recruited Emma's boss to act as a mole in the Vice President's office to ensure she does not double-cross her Saudi co-conspirators. Her boss becomes suspicious of Emma's interest and alerts the Saudi hit man who is helping the Vice President in her assassination plot.

To keep tabs on Emma, the hit man begins stalking her and her roommate. Emma survives two attempts on her life, once during her monthly flying lesson and once while walking with her boss. While attempting to elude the hit man's speeding car, her boss shoves Emma out of his way. She falls onto the curb and her boss is killed. Emma is briefly hospitalized.

Emma accompanies the Vice President to Norway to prepare for the President's upcoming visit, when the Vice President plans to poison the President.

Emma is kidnapped in Oslo by the Saudis. They plan to video Emma's execution, after forcing her to read a statement revealing the Vice President's involvement in the President's eventual poisoning death. If V.P. Diener keeps her end of the bargain, Emma will be quietly killed and her body hidden. If the Vice President double-crosses the Saudis, they will frame the Vice President for Emma's murder.

The Saudis fly Emma from Oslo to Tromsø, where Norway's new oil field is located. She is forced out of the plane in a tandem parachute jump and is transported to the Saudis' camp, where they have been spying on the off-shore oil rig. She smuggles a message to Lars, who reports her whereabouts to the Vice President.

Veronica Diener knows that Emma is held by the Saudis, but she does not know where. When Lars gives her Emma's location, she decides to rescue her to prevent the Saudis from having a hold on her for the rest of her life. She hires mercenaries to rescue Emma. They carry her by Zodiac to the oil rig, where they believe they are protecting her from her kidnappers by hiding her for the Vice President.

Emma escapes from the mercenaries by enlisting the help of the oil rig doctor. Feigning illness, Emma is flown by helicopter to the mainland, where the doctor and his wife hide her until Lars arrives from Oslo. While on Lars' motorcycle en route to the Tromsø airport, he and Emma are spotted by the kidnappers, who give chase.

Emma and Vice President Diener meet in the airport and have a major confrontation in the Ladies Room, with her Secret Service team outside. Once Vice President Diener learns that Emma knows about the President's poisoned medication, she resolves to avoid being brought to justice for her treason. She grabs a gun away from Secret Service Agent Christian Whittenberg, forcing a struggle in which she is killed.

This is a crisp clean synopsis. The book itself sounds good, and with female action heros, it has movie written all over it.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Nicely done! You've shown cause/effect very well, I think. This is something I try to remember when writing my own synopses, but don't always get right. Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne Rorhus said...

Thank you! May the New Year find you awash in gin and bestsellers!


Bonnie Calhoun said...

It sounds like a hit. Good plot and great delivery!

Voted: Book I'd most like to read!

Jenny D said...

Actually, I think "nerve-racking" is the standard spelling (i.e. like the kind of "rack" that you might torture someone on, as someone might be "racked with pain"), with "nerve-wracking" given as an acceptable variant spelling in Merriam-Webster.

McKoala said...

Small comment on the last sentence: please clarify who is killed! I assume it's the wicked VP, but your grammar makes it confusing.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant; the down-ending so right; the subject so relevant.

Anonymous said...

SHE DIES?? The protag dies in the end and you, Miss Snark, didn't climb down the author's throat, scratching her entrails with your spikes? Unless this is a literary thriller, which wasn't indicated, and noir and all that stuff, we want the protag to live. To have her die in the end will sink this story. May be a good synopsis, but in my opinion, won't sell.

Sal said...

Like that title! :-)

... but you're still using Madame Veep on your Web site.

Enjoyed your first chapter, btw.

Quick everyone! Click through to Suzanne's site.

Miss Snark said...

I think it's the Vice President who dies. If she kills off the heroine, she's voted OFF the Snarkland

Rick said...

I'm sure it is the VP who dies - read the last sentence of the synopsis. (Suzanne should still clarify it, just so the reader is absolutely clear.) Can't wait for the movie!

The "literary" downbeat ending sux. I wanted to throw A Farewell to Arms across the room when Cat Barkley gets run over by a bus on the last page. Hemingway should have used that shotgun a page earlier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for spoiking the ending of Farewell to Arms for me, bozo! Don't you dare tell me what happens to Romeao and Juliet.