Dear Miss Snark,
For Swedish-American Gabby Marcus, the remote tropical paradise of the Seychelles is the haven where she escaped regrets and started afresh. After a fifteen year respite she has let her guard down, lulled into a feeling of safety that turns out to be as shaky as the history she invented for herself. In the midst of mounting protest against U.S. troop presence in the Indian Ocean, Gabby attracts the attention of an ingenious stalker, threatening everything and everyone close to her. As her world is shattered by fear and death, Gabby must confront the past she fought so hard to flee in order to face this lethal pursuer.
ZAP. blah blah blah. I've seen this one gazillion times and it was old five years ago.
Does the fact that she's Swedish have any relevance?
Perle Noir is a contemporary suspense of approximately 85,000 words in the tradition of Joy Fielding's women in peril. I am enclosing the first page. If that grab you, I would be happy to send the complete manuscript. Thank you very much for your time and attention.
Tuesday, June 29
A roar from the nearby stadium reached Gabby Marcus standing in line at Malik's. The stuffy air filling the hardware store made her throat close up. Sweat streamed down her back and further - a slight tickle down her thighs. The light fabric of the dress clung to her skin, but at least the print, bright flowers on dark background, made the wet patches less visible. Years of living in the Seychelles had taught her that much. Unless you are talking about Suzanne Somers I don't want to hear about thighs in the first paragraph ever. That's a new rule actually. No thighs, this high.
She pushed back a strand of blonde hair that kept falling in her eyes, and smiled at Malik scurrying past to get something for the customer he was attending to. As usual, he showed no signs of recognition.
Using the morning paper as a fan, Gabby scanned the store for familiar faces; acquaintances she would feel obliged to talk to. When she found nothing but the blank looks of strangers she relaxed, happy to enjoy her wait in silence. She hadn't expected the store to be this packed. Coming into Victoria on this late June afternoon for her weekly shopping, she had forgotten all about the Independence Day celebrations. The crowds she pushed past walking down Francis Rachel Street and the noise from the stadium tipped her off.
How could she have missed it? Ralista had talked about nothing else for the past week. With the passion only an eight-year old can muster, Ralista's eagerness increased as this all-important day drew closer. Gabby had showed appropriate god motherly interest, knowing that Shauna, her dearest friend and the child's actual mother, would do nothing of the kind. Yet, Gabby too had listened without hearing, questioned without registering the answer, and here she was, in the midst of a feast she didn't want to be a part of.
Gabby startled as Malik appeared by her side, a lilting Indian-English enquiry as to how he could be of help. With a smile she asked for a bucket of the white paint she got last time. Still he didn't smile back. Minutes later she was ready to leave.
Outside, the heat was even more pressing, making her wish she had been wise enough to wait with the groceries. The plastic handle cut into her palm, leaving lines that itched when she changed her grip. At least the bucket of paint helped to even the load.
Stepping onto the sizzling pavement, Gabby closed her eyes to the sunlight, stunned for a moment by the brightness as well as by the scene before her. A small group of demonstrators had gathered in front of the British High Commissioner's office, the building next to Malik's. The tall, dark glass construction looked out of place, a shining exception crammed between the low wooden houses dominating the rest of the street. The demonstrators' chant and the signs held high revealed their message to Gabby and anyone else who cared to stop and listen. Looking around there didn't seem to be that many.
Waiting to watch paint dry.
This one is a non starter for me.
There's nothing going on, and the premise of the novel is yesterday's news.