12.20.2006

HH Com 228 (224)

Moses Falls returned from the Gulf War to find his 10-year-old sister convulsing on the sofa. He rushed her to the hospital--where she died twenty minutes later from methamphetamine overdose.

Years later, Falls is the DEA's most committed undercover agent with a paranormal ability to sense drug use. His latest assignment takes him to Seattle to investigate a sudden rash of drug-related deaths.

He follows a meth trail into an underground club and encounters Métisse, a coldly beautiful assassin who hides her eyes behind pince-nez sunglasses. Falls senses a fetid and dark magic about her, but agrees to an uneasy alliance when he learns they share an enemy in common: Lord Pramoj, whose brand of street "ice" may be what's responsible for filling Seattle's emergency rooms.

Their quest to overthrow the U.S.'s most powerful drug lord leads Falls and Métisse deep into Seattle's underworld, where they learn that--just like Falls' sister years ago--impoverished children with no history of drug use are inexplicably dying. Agent Falls suspects that Pramoj's drug operation is merely a cover for something even more terrible, that the drug lord has greater ambitions than they imagined. Their only hope may be the dark magic that Métisse--the woman Falls is growing to love--keeps hidden behind her sunglasses.


So, what happens if they fail? More people die? yawn. The stakes have to be personal. What happens to HIM if he fails?

It also seems that the story really starts when he meets Metisse (the name of course instantly conjures up the dog in Down and Out in Beverly Hills). What's her story? What are the stakes for her? I'm always interested in assassins, particularly conflicted ones.

22 comments:

Inkwolf said...

Actually, I think this pne sounds pretty exciting...

Anonymous said...

I'd read this one for sure. The ideas are new, and the writing's great. The Moses character sounds really intriguing.

Anonymous said...

This one feels a tad lifeless, but it's focused and smoothly written. I like the bit about combining drugs and magic. I'd definitely turn to the first page to see what this author could do.

Anonymous said...

The worlds largest drug lord in Seattle? plz. There may be a bunch of coke heads and a lot of hippie pot smokers (I swear im not among them) but not the worlds largest dealer.

ccfinlay said...

The last paragraph focuses on the drug lord, but what's really interesting here is the relationship between Falls and Metisse. We expect the drug lord to lose, so there's no tension there. The twist is going to be in the price that they pay for the victory. Sure, they can beat him, but will it cost them their relationship? I suspect the real hook is something more specific about Metisse's "dark magic" -- that's a term too vague to use twice in a blurb this length.

HawkOwl said...

It was totally going somewhere until the paranormal thing came in. And it's a weird use of paranormal abilities, considering how easy it is to "sense" drug use with just the regular senses.

Twill said...

As a suggestion, you might want specify "the first Gulf War", since "years later" threw me out of your hook completely, wondering "when is this set?".

Anonymous said...

That plot doesn't make any sense. How can he get any kind of warrant based on psychic evidence? It's worthless. Those cases always get thrown out because judges still have a problem with cops tossing random citizens to the sidewalk and frisking them based on vauge hunches. Your dude would more like get sued for civil rights violations and fired.

Anonymous said...

I want to know what's behind those sunglasses!

December Quinn said...

Pince-nez don't really hide the eyes very well, as they're so small.

I actually really do like this, but I have to admit the thought of a guy who can supernaturally sense drug use made me giggle a little.

"Hey, Bob, how's your cold?"

"How did you know I have a cold?"

"My neck is tingling. That means you took NyQuil within the last 24 hours."

Anonymous said...

"Moses Falls" sounds like a place name, so I was distracted right from the start--a place? no, oh--a person. okay. Perhaps you could rearrange the first sentence so the reader doesn't trip over a misunderstanding in the first two words.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how realistic this should be, but in reality Meth Comes from Mexico, California, or Hotlanta (Atlanta). There is Meth in Portland, but its small time

Anonymous said...

Sorry not Portland Seatle, my objection still stands though.

Jodi Meadows said...

This sounds fascinating. The first paragraph definitely gave me a sense of Moses's character because--wow. Come home from death and mayhem to find more death and mayhem? That should not be part of life!

I would definitely read this story. The hook is smoothly written, and full of surprises.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised by the combination of ten year old with drug overdose (surprise is good). I wanted to know how the protag took it. Did he think "my god, how did my little sister become involved in this?", assuming she was an addict. Or did he think, "No way my sister took this willingly, foul play!" I was wondering if the repeat of similar deaths in the future might give him some form of comfort, to realize she hadn't done it to herself (if that's indeed what he thought...). Anyway, that's what piqued my interest, and wished it had been addressed more.

Anonymous said...

You mean this "drug lord" is the largest as in he's hugely fat, don't you? Like 800 pounds of fat. Because everybody knows Seattle's actually pretty far out on the edge of the whole cocaine/opiate distribution chain.

Kate Nepveu said...

In addition to the comments already posted, I stumbled badly over the bad guy's name, "Pramoj," because I have no idea how you would pronounce it or what it's supposed to convey.

(This is reader reaction not advice, because I don't know which is worse, leaving the bad guy nameless in the hook or using a name that trips up at least some readers.)

angie said...

FYI, meth can be manufactured anywhere (the ingredients are still fairly easy to procure). MethAMPHETAMINE is not cocaine, and certainly not an opiate (heroin, people). This is exactly why meth is such an enormous problem across the US - no need to fool around with complicated distribution when you can make it yourself.

So while it's a huge stretch to imagine Seattle as the center of a drug empire, I'm not getting the sense that this story is grounded in reality as we know it (psychic ability, magic, etc.). Still, the stakes don't feel all that high (or tweaked, if you will). Maybe just because I don't know enough about the characters.

I dunno. The magic and drug combo isn't my cup of tea, but with focus and clarity this could be a decent story.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like this could be a great book but its presentation here lacks a certain spark.

geniusofevil said...

This sounds like a great book! I would totally read it!

Anonymous said...

You lost me with the words "paranormal ability to sense drug use". You don't need any sort of psychic abilities to tell if someone is a meth user or not.
It becomes all too clear all too soon. Give your street drug a different name and make it clear that you are setting your story in an alternate reality. You're keeping in a lot of 20th century elements and they are clashing with the sf/f story you're trying to tell.

Rae said...

Thanks Miss Snark and fellow Snarklings! Great comments. Yeah, this blurb needs a lot of work. Looks like I left out some critical details...like the exact nature of Falls' 'ability', why Seattle is having a drug issue, and why the heck any of it matters. Wish me luck on the rewrite!