HH Com 426

Skin in the Game: Romantic suspense

Tai Randolph likes dead people. As a tour guide, she enjoys recounting their histories, weaving stories that are sometimes more entertaining than true. But when she discovers a young woman's murdered corpse in her estranged father's driveway, she decides that dead people -- and dads -- are more trouble than they're worth.

Complicating matters further is Trey Seaver, field agent for Phoenix, an exclusive corporate security firm where her father now works as an industrial psychologist. A former patient of her father's, Trey is good-looking and smart, but still recovering from the car accident that left him psychologically damaged -- and strangely gifted. He’s fearless, focused, and amazingly accurate at lie detection -- 87% of the time anyway -- but he's also rule-obsessed and emotionally inflexible. And he's not thrilled to have an unpredictable amateur “detecting” on his turf.

The Atlanta police soon arrest the victim’s meth-dealing ex-boyfriend for the murder, but Tai
suspects the real truth ISN'T the official version both Phoenix and the authorities are enthusiastically promoting. After all, bodies don’t just randomly appear in one's front yard -- they show up for a reason. She wants to believe her father isn't a murderer, but knows she can't give their relationship a fair shot until she learns the whole truth. Surreptitiously. Because facts don't lie, and with an oddly attractive human lie detector dogging her every move, neither can she, no matter what secret she may inadvertently dig up.

This has every contrivance in the book. "concealing the true story" "car accident gives surprising gifts" "mis matched deterctives".

You've glossed over the lack of story with gimmicks. There's no antagonist, unless you think one of the two main characters serves that function.


Anonymous said...

I like the character of the human lie detector and might read this just to see sparks fly between him and Tai. But starting off with Tai's fondness for dead people is misleading, even though it grabbed my attention. If her dad is, indeed, an antagonist, as you're hinting (and he can be an antagonist whether he murdered the girl or not), we need to know more about his relationship with Tai. Why is she so quick to suspect him of murder?

A Paperback Writer said...

I really liked the first paragraph, but I agree with Miss Snark about the rest.

Inkwolf said...

I also wanted to say that I loved your first paragraph!

Anonymous said...

I like SKIN OF THE GAME better. BTW, how did you come up with 87%? Is that according to a recent poll?

Start writing something first. When you're 20,000 words into it, stop and figure out what the story is. It will find you (believe it or not) so you won't have to throw these hooky things in there.

And pick up a how-to book.

good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, all of you, who took the time to offer your support and encouragement. May the universe reward you accordingly. Your suggestions make exquisite sense, and I am trying my best to implement them.

What kind of how-to book do you recommend, Anonymous? Luckily, I've found the story -- it's condensing it into 250 words of something "fresh" and "interesting" but not "hooky" and "gimmicky" -- and please, yes, let's add well-written -- that's kicking tail with me.

BTW, the 87% is from a Scientific American piece on how certain types of brain damage make a person better able to detect deception in others.

Thanks again, all.