HH Com 118

It's the Fourth of July in Cleveland, and private investigator Rick Campbell starts his vacation by hooking up with Valeria, a sexy Russian woman. In Lady Double Dealer, it's just a happy one-night stand before Campbell leaves town for a couple week. To Valeria, it's her chance to find her boss and his missing limousine. When Rick tries to say no, he finds an old friend has been drawn into the crossfire. Soon Rick is playing a deadly shell game with a limo and a car thief, trying to stay one-step ahead of the Russian Mafiya and the police. Complicating matters is the dead body in the trunk, which Rick conceals in an unusual way. With the humor of Elmore Leonard and the edginess of Dennis Lehane, Lady Double Dealer careens through the North Coast on its way to a fiery climax in Cleveland's industrial Flats.

I'm bored to tears by the Russian mafia right now. How about the Baptist mafia?

Elmore Leonard is funny as hell because he turns your expectations upside down. (brief pause for homage to Out of Sight based on a Leonared novel and starring The Sexiest Man Alive). You're not doing that here, or if you are, you haven't shown it in this hook.

You've got the form right; you just need to actually describe a book that doesn't sound like every other PI book east of Cleveland.


HawkOwl said...

Pretty much what Miss Snark says. This sounds like the back copy to any number of books I'd never want to read.

ya author said...

The Baptist Mafia? I *love* it! Snort.

Can I use that Miss Snark? I'll split the advance and royalties with you. LOL

michaelgav said...

I'd recommend not comparing yourself to Elmore Leonard or Dennis Lehane. Or Carl Hiaasen, or Stephen King, or Mitch Albom, or Patricia Cornwell, or anybody else you bump into regularly on the NYT list. All this can do is set the expectations bar at, oh, about thirty-five feet. I think it might work if you reference somebody who is not well-known, but is well respected, but I still wouldn't risk it.

Jim Winter said...

Well, it's an improvement on the original hook. In hindsight, the last minute addition of the Lehane/Leonard comment probably should have waited until AFTER the Crap-O-Meter.

More revision.

Anonymous said...

Les Roberts writes the best books about a private investigator born and bred in Cleveland. Look to him for inspiration.