#93 Crapometer

Genre: Chick lit suspense



LYNN BROADMORE, by day is a normal thirty-year-old accounting assistant in Wichita, Kansas. She does her job, gets along with most of her co-workers, and drools over JACK EDWARDS, the newest member of the department.

By night, Lynn is no longer Lynn, but HUSH, the webmaster of slayerdomain.com, a Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan fiction archive. She’s crash, (crash?) blunt, and downright wild with her website, writing NC-17 stories about characters, and generally having fun with other Buffy fans. Lynn’s online life is a secret from everyone at work, including Jack, until he sees her working on it, and sneaks a peak.

The entire premise of the novel hinges on Jack not only knowing what Lynn does in her spare time but also that she's in danger from it. To say it's a secret till he finds out at this moment makes the rest of the plot ludicrous.

Lynn and Jack start seeing each other, and a few days after their first date, they head to a karaoke bar called Walt’s, and a strange man stares at Lynn, sending horrid feelings through her, and Jack takes her home.

Meanwhile, BENNE, an internet based serial killer, has killed several other women who write fan fiction. Now he’s after Hush, because better. (huh?) She’s a web mistress who’s captured in her writing who he really is. Her fame in fan fiction circles and her innate trust makes her his soul mate – the one who can save Benne’s soul.

ok, right here you lose me. Her innate trust? She doesn’t know him!

Lynn doesn’t realize that Benne is the man in the bar who scared her. Benne becomes enraged at Lynn for being there with Jack. He starts trying to determine the fastest ways to implement his plans for Lynn/Hush.

To Lynn, Benne is an author named RUGBY, and he gets a job transfer (to) Wichita. Lynn is excited to meet him, and gets to even sooner than she thinks, when she gets fired from her job for writing fan fiction at work, thanks to Lynn’s office nemesis, TINA SMITH.

Lynn, being left without a ride from work, calls Rugby to pick her up and take her to her vehicle on the opposite side of town. Afterwords (afterwards), they have a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s, (Starbucks) where Rugby slips something in her drink, and takes her back to his lair.

Wait...she’s never met this guy but she asks him for a ride to her car on the opposite side of town? Why doesn’t she drive to work? Why does she call someone she doesn’t know?

Lynn awakes to find herself cuffed at her ankles and her wrists to a bed. Benne injects drugs, forces her to drink chemicals to cleanse her system, and bathing rituals, all carried out by Rugby, who whistles Snow White’s “Whistle While You Work” as he purifies her body.

this is creepy as hell.

In between one of the sessions with Hush, Benne hears a noise in his home, and he investigates, only to find two FBI agents breaking into the house. The first he shoots and that agent goes down. The second agent attacks him, and as he struggles, he realizes that the agent is the man that Hush had been with in the bar the night before. Benne incapacitates him and stuffs him in the extra deep sump pump hole in the basement.

First, the FBI doesn’t break into homes. They get warrants. Second WHY would they break in? As far as any observer can tell, a man and a woman go into a house after a Starbucks date. Not exactly suspicious stuff.

Lynn awakes to find herself in a scalding shower and being scrubbed down with Comet, but she hears something in the distance, a voice, albeit a muffled one, but something that clues her into the fact that she’s not alone. The smell of latex and Comet send Lynn over the edge, and she starts vomiting on Rugby, then passes out.

Rugby deposits her on her bed, and runs from the basement to clean himself. When he reaches the upstairs, he realizes that the other FBI agent is still alive, a blood trail leads him to her dying body in his living room. Enraged because of the vomit as well as the prospect of this agent trying to get away, he finishes the job and starts working on scrubbing away all evidence of the blood and vomit.

Meanwhile, Lynn awakes realizing she’s not chained to the bed, but her body is so weakened that she can barely move. She crawls to the bathroom and forces some water in her system, then crawls to the room where the noisy groans she heard before emanated. Inside, she finds a person shoved down in the sump pump hole, and when she pulls the duct tape off his face, she realizes it’s Jack Edwards!

Confusion reigns for Lynn, and she and Jack argue about why he’s there, and the fact that she’s only an assignment to him. She realizes that Jack is WillowRocks, and her heart crumbles into a thousand pieces at the knowledge that Jack was only with her to find Benne.

Yep, that’s EXACTTLY what I’d do when in the hands of a serial scrubber--I’d argue with a guy about why he doesn’t love me.

They manage to get out of the basement, and a shoot out begins between Rugby and Jack. (where does Jack get the gun?) Lynn, overwhelmed by anger, frustration, and hatred, grabs Jack’s discarded flack jacket and a gun found on the floor and marches up to Rugby, aiming for his head. She misses, hitting the couch he cowered behind, and takes a bullet in the chest.

Yup, in a gun battle, that’s exactly what I’d do too: march right over to an armed man and miss him.

When Lynn comes to, she’s strapped to a gurney and the place is swarming with police, FBI, and medical people. Jack yells at her for her stupidity, and she just smirks at him, glad to be alive, and that she’s still able to think.

Rushed to Wesley hospital, Lynn receives treatment for her body’s chemical burns. Jack visits her once, to tell her he’s going back to Washington DC. Lynn’s heart is broken into a thousand more pieces. She’s taken to her parents’ home to recuperate, and spends time with her family, and reading all the cards and letters she’s received from people all over the country, including letters from Benne’s other victims.

Three months pass, and Lynn refuses to read any email from Jack, or even check her email. Then, after a conversation with her mother, Lynn logs onto the internet for the first time since she was kidnapped, and sees WillowRocks is online. Jack pops up an IM screen, and they argue. A web cam option is available. Lynn clicks on the image, it opens up with Jack sitting in front of the computer, engagement ring in hand, and a sign that reads “will you marry me?”


Lynn says yes.


Their wedding is available for view at slayerdomain.com.


Well, you’ve got a synopsis here. No doubt about that. And it’s a good synopsis. The problem of course is that it makes me NOT want to read the book. This is a bad thing.

Even in fiction, action has to make sense. Motivation has to be believable. 0-2 on that here.


d said...

oh man! I'm now an outted lurker --I just fell off my chair at "in the hands of a serial scrubber..."

I'm still laughing--

While I'm out I should thank those braver than I (well, that and the fact my novel isn't finished) who risked public critique and Ms. Snark for all the valuable info. (wrapped in such an entertaining package). I've learned TONS via the crapometer. I'm grateful.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Hate to say it, but "no knock" is back and it's fighting to remain permanent.

Paisley Scott said...

All I can do it repeat:
and Repeat:

Anonymous said...

If Benne's a serial killer, how can she get letters from his other victims? That's seriously...strange.

McKoala said...

The whole grooming in the murderer's house is a bit too reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs for me.

I like the detail of 'Whistle while you work' though, that's one nasty thought there...

Bernita said...

Are "sump pump holes" bigger in the US?
Never seen one big enough to stuff a hunka hunka FBI agent into.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy.

Lose the Buffy angle unless you want to estrange Joss Whedon fans the world over. Make up a fake TV series. Please.

Or better yet, just stick to writing your own Buffy fic, as none of this is publishable. "Silence of the Lambs" meets "Mr.Clean?"

Love match at the end? I don't think so. If I'm kidnapped by a serial scrubber, tied to a bed, force-fed tofu or whatever, yadda-yadda, you can bet I'll be in serious therapy for years to come, not smirking at some lame hunk. My Comet-scarred bod might put him off, too.

Never, ever post potentially sell-worthy books (or its parts) on the Net. (This won't sell, but you need the practice.) No editor will buy the cow since you've given away the milk.

Bernita said...

Hey, anon.
Danger doesn't turn everyone into a quivering, trauma-whiner, incapable of discriminating between the attentions of the weird and a normal male.
We generally expect suspense heroines to be stronge and cool and not put off by creeps or why else are they heroines?

Anonymous said...

"Yep,that’s EXACTTLY what I’d do when in the hands of a serial scrubber"

On record now as my first "pass your coffee through your nose" line of 2006. Still LMAO!

Kim from Kansas said...

First of all regarding the pansey who remained nameless, I think this story just needs some kinks worked out and will one day be publishable, I think it is inhumane for you to state otherwise unless you happen to be fortune teller; I have to agree with the Buffy angle because it does alienate people right away - some people don't like Buffy and plus don't you have to get permission to use the name Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

I also agree with Bernita, check your facts about the size of sump pumps.

And in reference to McKoala who stated the "...grooming in the murderer's house is a bit too reminiscent of SOTL..." I don't remember the killer in SOTL to be "tidy" - and most serial killers to participate in some type of ritual in prepareness of their slaughter - any aspiring criminologist knows that.

Hey you know what? People laughed at the first works of King and Koontz - don't give up. Take the constructive critism in stride, some of Snarks remarks are valuable. But keep reaching for your dream. You have a great premise here - it is workable material. Don't give up!

Anonymous said...

BTK might like this book.