HH Com 229 (225)

Seattle homicide prosecutor Schuler Day works tirelessly to convict killers while struggling with the fact that she is the daughter of one. Despite her father’s imprisonment for serial murder, Schuler maintains a relationship with him – drawing stares, whispers, and accusations in both her personal and professional life. Subconsciously, she atones for his sins through her labor, but Schuler eschews relationships and her desire to bear a child, convinced she carries bad blood.

Schuler’s career means everything to her. When she learns her father faces the death penalty for another killing, she is confronted with the hardest decision of her life: Should she retain an attorney to fight to keep her father alive, even if it means career suicide? Or should she let go of the past and abide by her ethics, which demand he be held accountable?

It isn’t until Schuler becomes embroiled in the case of Chase Keller, a murdered weathergirl, that she is able to answer these questions. As Schuler discovers a series of shocking revelations about Keller’s life, death and the person who killed her, she unearths an unexpected source of evil – the justice system she so dearly believes in – and her choice becomes clear.

UNTITLED is a 100,000 word mystery written by a felony prosecutor.

You're starting with backstory-her dad. Your story is when she gets involved with Chase Keller. That's where the conflict starts.

Focus on that. Even if the book doesn't start there, you need to get that conflict into the hook.


Anonymous said...

The backstory on the father interested me. (especially with your credentials) Maybe if you start with the current situation and then add in one line on how her father's situation affects her decision making, it would work better. Either way, this hooked me, although it isn't something I would normally read.


wavybrains said...

This hooked me. And I'm not huge mystery reader. And yay for writing lawyers! I was hooked from the first sentence--great imagery here and lots of emotional energy.

xiqay said...

You may be a felony prosecutor, but as an attorney, I found this story to be completely unbelievable. Preposterous comes to mind.

First paragraph--you've got me interested.

Second paragraph--I can't think of any attorney I've known in my career of more than 25 years as an attorney who would NOT hire an attorney for someone they care about even a little bit. Attorneys generally buy into the adversary system. It's what we do on a day-to-day basis. And getting an attorney for her father would not likely be career suicide. Most good prosecutors like having competent counsel on the other side.

And ethics aside--her father is facing murder charges. He's going to have counsel, either purchased by his daughter or appointed by the court.

And the third paragraph--LOL. The justice system is created by people. It's imperfect. And sometimes in a big way. But it's not a "source of evil" to be unearthed by someone who has worked as a prosecutor.

When prosecutors feel the system is unfair, they become defenders.

This would be a definite NO in my book.

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely ask for pages on this one. The writing is solid, the stakes are clear. Even if most of it is back story to the hook, it's not necessarily back story to the novel. Worth a look.

Anonymous said...

I'd read it.

Anonymous said...

I would not have cared about this if not for the father conflict. Intriguing.

HawkOwl said...

I didn't know prosecutors could specialize in homicide.

That being said, I can't begin to imagine how hiring a lawyer to represent your relative could be in any way detrimental to a prosecutor's career, no matter what the charge is. I would think prosecutors of all people would appreciate a person's right to a competent lawyer. Even if he's convicted of murder and his daughter is a prosecutor.

In short, I find it totally unrelatable because I don't believe in the protagonist's dilemma.

Anonymous said...

is it like seattle night or what??

Zappadong said...

Right down my street. Go ahead with it. I agree with wavybrains: great imagery here and lots of emotional energy.


Anonymous said...

I loved the first sentence and found the whole thing hooked me.
well written and I'd read it.

Anonymous said...

In Seattle, public defender represented death penalty cases get at least two full time attorneys and a full time investigator working for at least a year, maybe two or three years, plus assorted experts who deal with various special issues. Hugely complicated cases like Gary Ridgeway's get whole teams of attorneys and investigators, etc. And then there are years of appeals. Your person will need to spend one to several million if she's going to hire her own team, so she better not quit her job unless she can use the time to marry a billionaire. The cost is enough to break the bank of small counties, never mind a private individual, which is one reason the State of Washington hardly ever seriously tries to kill anyone. Death is a much bigger industry in states like Texas, where defendants don't get such a vigorous defense, and in California, where cost is apparently no issue.

And no, it would hardly ruin her career as a prosecutor to hire counsel for her father, since anyone who believes in the system knows both sides are working for justice. Seems like you to need to go do a lot more research if you're trying to be realistic. And if not, why smear the real live prosecutors etc. in Seattle with a lot of make believe? Make up a fictional city if you don't know enough to get it right in a real one.

stick and move said...

Chase Keller? Chase killer? Am I the only one that picked up on that?