12.27.2006

HH Com 493

Joanne Waters was brutally slain by the one man she thought was safe. She was beaten until she was unrecognizable, and beaten some more. Hours later, she was found dead in a lake of her own blood. Through the slats in a hall closet, every second of her torture was witnessed by a boy. Her young son, William, with nowhere to turn, ran through the wilderness with everything he could muster; chased by an unimaginable monster.

Detectives James and Danielle take the case and are on the hunt for the elusive killer, on the hunt for justice...and falling in love? They can never seem to get ahead of this killer; he is one like they’ve never known let alone stopped. He possesses an unimaginable strength in mind as well as body. His kills are not solely for pleasure but for a duty. And his son may have the answer to stopping him. That is, if the killer’s fixation on Danielle doesn’t stop them first. The three stories soon collide— the boy with a secret, the couple with a mission, and the killer, performing the ultimate process of elimination.


By now you've seen I don't much like this sort of generalized overview. I look for specifics and very vivid language. You can violate every rule I mention if you write well enough.

You may have a great suspense story here but this hook doesn't show it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any cop worthy of the Detective salutation would be known by his/her last name in the professional sphere. If "James" and "Danielle" are neighborhood amateurs you can call them "sleuths" or at least use the small case detective. Calling your fictional cops Detecive First Name looks like you don't know any real ones and undermines your credibility.

Anonymous said...

Writer, please consider ditching the passive voice.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. "Was" is perhaps the weakest word in the English language. Whenver practicable, do NOT use it.

Rather, go for the active, i.e.: When Joanne Waters is found beaten to death in a lake of her own blood, investigators realize the only witness is her X-year old son, William.

Bleh, that's not a good example, but you see the difference from "she was/he was". Also, it's unclear if her son is just out running in the wilderness (what wilderness) alone, or if the detectives find him and get the story from him, or if the detectives are looking for William at the same time they're looking for the killer ... etc. Also, is it Joanne's son William who holds the secret to the killer, or does the killer also have a son? Finally, how do we know the killer has a fixation on Danielle? There must be something he's done that reveals his nasty attraction to the lady detective, and that should figure into their investigations.

Last, as noted, when the title "detective" is used, it is never applied to the officer's first name. Rather than Detective Danielle, she would be Detective Danielle Smith or Detective Smith. Make sure you understand police terminology and tactics.

Anonymous said...

It still earned my interest, but I'm a real sucker for heart-pounding the suspense/mystery/thriller genres.

Anonymous said...

I was confused. Who is "his son"? Is it a character we haven't met yet, or is one of the characters already mentioned the son of the killer? (I think "his" meant the killer, but I'm not even sure of that to be honest.)

writtenwyrdd said...

You don't have three stories colliding, you have a murder, a witness on the run who is a young boy, and a pair of cops. It sounds to me like you are mixing up a subplot (romance between partners) with the main plot, which is finding the boy before the killer does.

This sounds pretty standard fare, so paraphrasing what MS has been saying a lot of, show us what makes this tale unique.

Also, a logic point: You indicate the kid is on the run and he is being chased. If he is a kid, as in too small to try and save his mom, he's too small and lacking in resources to really go on the run. Or so I would presume. If there is something special about the kid, like he has a place to go or another reason to run (the killer is known to him and the killer knows him well maybe) then tell us about it here. Otherwise, it strikes me as illogical to have the kid flee and avoid the cops.

Author said...

Thanks for the help guys. The killer is actually the boy's father and the "special" thing about the boy is that he has paranormal powers. He can turn himself into a ghost-like image of himself and can't be harmed by bullets etc. The fixation becomes otherwise fairly obvious on Detective Daniell Rivera (sorry for refering to her wrong in the hook, I actually call her Detective Rivera in the book itself) when the killer sees her the first time.
I'm glad I got snarked (should that be capitalized?) before I made a nitwit of myself.