HH Com 260 (257)

Donovan Keen doesn’t believe in ghosts or the afterlife, but when faced with an apparently genuine spook and solid scientific evidence of his father’s Near Death Experience, he gets turned 180 degrees. Donovan, a high-profile columnist for the Sydney Times has spent years searching for definitive proof of the miraculous. But when he finally gets his wish, he doesn’t like it one bit.

The New-Age fraternity hates him, the hard-core skeptics mistrust him, and his only ally is the intelligent and beautiful clairvoyant Celine Swensen. But Donovan doesn’t believe in ESP either, and the paradox of their relationship just may have something to do with the torch he carries for her.

His encounter with the ghost of petty criminal Riley Stubbs has him desperate for reassuring facts, so Donovan turns to the one mystery he can attempt to solve: the suspicious death of bogus TV medium Nelson Prosper. Two deaths and one near-death revelation: behind one lurks the key to the real mystery that’s been trying to surface all Donovan’s life: why the search for something he doesn’t believe in?

Standing between him and the truth are the eccentric scientist, Ari Baranski, who conjures spirits and induces nirvana with technology, Donovan’s anguish over his father’s illness, and the vengeful family of one of Nelson Prosper’s failed after-life sessions.

Donovan has always worshipped logic and clarity, but now he’s forced to abandon his precious reason, seek a new kind of clarity, and become somewhat of a paradox himself: a rational mystic.

You've got an interesting spark of an idea here but you're all over the place. I'm not sure what "definitive proof of the miraculous" means because a miracle is by defination not "proveable".

If you mean he now thinks ghosts and the afterlife are real...so what? Only if he can use that information in a way that pushes the plot forward will it have any use for us.

And Ari Baranski who induces nirvana with technology? Sounds like the guy who invented this


Inkwolf said...

I like your hero's position--professional skeptic forced to believe, loathed by both former allies and enemies--but would be more interested if the plot seemed to offer more than his trying to sort out and justify his own confusion.

Anonymous said...

Overall the hook and story sounds pretty good, but I was confused by the opener. Why would someone who doesn't believe in ghosts spend years searching for "proof of the miraculous"? Do you mean after his father's experience?

Fuchsia Groan said...

I think this is a promising premise; the hook just needs focusing. One thing that threw me was the "paradox" of his relationship with the clairvoyant. Is it really paradoxical to have a relationship with someone who believes something you don't? Especially when they're "intelligent and beautiful"? If what you mean is that sparks fly when the lovers bicker over the existence of ESP, I'd make that clear. It sounds like more fun.

I'd pick up this book, though. Faith vs. skepticism never gets old for me.

xiqay said...

I echo Inkwolf's comments. You've got an interesting character in an interesting position.

But now what happens. I think you need a plot.

(or if you've got one, you need to make it a lot clearer in the hook).

I got lost in the hook, btw. As MS says, it's all over the place. I didn't take the time to figure out how things fit together, if they do.

Good luck.