HH Com 172

Mike Brennan believes he has it all. After leading an elite Marine Corps unit into combat during the Gulf War, he has worked his way up to a top spot in a prestigious Wall Street firm. He has money, power, and success, but nothing is as it seems. When an employee uncovers unusual transactions in the company’s accounts, Brennan is plunged into a web of lies and peril that will bring him face to face with a clandestine society formed nearly three quarters of a century earlier by some of America’s oldest and most wealthy families. From secretive banks in Aruba, millions of dollars are being wired to accounts of prominent Americans. In New York, the stock market is manipulated at will. Mike Brennan thought he understood the risks of the world of high finance but he has no way of knowing that he has become their perfect pawn. Framed as a murderer and embezzler, he is forced to go underground to conduct his own investigation. Pursued up and down the East Coast by the FBI, he has to avoid not only arrest, but also an assassin sent to silence him. But the men who control the society have picked the wrong victim; Mike Brennan will not go down without a fight. In his struggle to prove his innocence and stay alive, many lives will be lost, many saved, and the foundation on which America was built will be forever altered.

oh yawn.

Saving the world and the stock market from a conspiracy. Please.

And of course you've created a perfect hero: booooooring. Flawed heroes are MUCH more compelling.

And the villains are nameless and faceless so they're even less interesting.

Give us a compelling piece of action, and a dilemma. And mess up his hair.


Anonymous said...

Your plot is pretty old news. What I wanted:

The guy should be guilty, find a conspiracy bigger than he is (like a mouse to an elephant) and discover he has to solve the problem or go to jail, taking the rap for the whole shebang. That would at least up the stakes. Along the way, he finds redemption (or not); a girl (or manages to regain the ex-wife who left him); and he cries when he runs over a little dog, wasting time while rushing it to the vet (or he might just discover he can live with his ex's flatulent hound, who drools on his flokati rugs.) Cops can chase him, he can make strange and surly alliances using his naughty connections, and perhaps it turns out his girlfriend is the one who set him up. Argh! She's double crossed me again, he says at the black moment and flings himself into the dark night to confront the evil villian his own way.

Or something like that.

BernardL said...

It's pulp fiction, and I like it. If you can find a way to reword your hook so someone in publishing, other than agents waiting for another 'Philadelphia Story', get a look at it, it could sell. :)

Anonymous said...

"will be forever altered."

This kind of sentence always makes me cringe. TV journalists love to dish it up in those cheesy conclusions they feel obliged to tack on, and they are invariably wrong. It is a sure sign of melodrama and somebody taking themselves and their story waaaaay too seriously.

HawkOwl said...

Why does everything have to involve murder and the FBI? Money is more than enough motivation for people to do insane, devious things. I ignored the hackneyed Marine background as long as I thought it was gonna be Enron and I was gonna like it. The plot being what it is, I guess the Marine thing is fitting.

xiqay said...

I thought this was pretty well-written. It flowed very smoothly and seemed to be a good example of a hook.

The plot may be old and trite, the characterization thin, and the stakes nameless and faceless, but this was not the worst I've seen, not by a long shot.

Seems like ordinary pulp fiction, to me, which means, I could see reading this book as a beach read, especially if the book is as smoothly written as the hook.

But it seems pulp fiction is out.

Good luck.

aries said...

This book seems like it's very much in the David Baldacci or Brad Meltzer vein. Neither author is my cup of tea but both are regular NYT bestseller residents. I thought the hook was well written and just because it didn't appeal to MS doesn't mean it wouldn't to another agent. I would research which agents specialize in these type of books, i.e. agent query Baldacci's and Meltzer's names and submit. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Please recall, if you're thinking of an international audience, that just saying 'the foundation on which America was built' is not going to bring a patriotic tear to the eye - it'll sound sanctimonious. If it's going to affect the *lives* of the people in his country, that's interesting, but American patriotism doesn't travel well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who've weighed in on the formula-but-so-what side. These sorts of plots have a following precisely because of the
expectation it will deliver more of what the reader can't get enough of.

This one will be all about the writing, and based on this hook, there's a good chance the writer is capable of pulling it off.

That said, I'd also like to see some dimension to the hero and some non-formulaic freshness in portraying the corporate villains.

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued by the "families controlling the world's economy" angle. I have been ever since I saw a piece on 60 Minutes about some guy that manipulates markets. But I agree that he should have some warts, maybe like the kid in Wall Street. Intersting premise. I certainly would keep at it. Like so many of the other hooks presented here, I have a feeling the book is better than the hook.

Anonymous said...

from the author: thanks very much for the comments - I feel people either like this type of book or absolutely hate it, not much in between. I like the comparison to Baldacci and Meltzer, two of my favorites. Thanks again.