12.30.2006

HH Com 657

The world of Dragan Sakic, a troubled emergency room physician, begins to fall apart when he proves that the death of Salt Lake City’s District Attorney was murder. The medical examiner is about to sign the death certificate when Dragan points out that three substances found in the DA's body, no more than natural remedies when taken separately, mimic a heart attack when combined. A tiered poisoning?

In providing an ailing investigation impetus by revealing additional suspicious deaths for what they really are—elaborate poisonings—Dragan makes himself a target. When his girlfriend Nina, an investigative reporter, is found near death, and evidence discovered at their home implicates Dragan in the DA’s murder, he becomes the prime suspect of the investigation, and in Nina’s attack. Framed for murders he did not commit, and faced with the loss of the person most dear to him, Dragan is thrust into a shady world of betrayal, revenge and religious zealotry.

This isn't specific enough to hook me but I like the idea of tiered poisoning a lot. You need the villain to rear his ugly head, or it's too lopsided.

9 comments:

Tulie said...

Holy crap, I work with a guy by that name! He's a babyfaced twenty-something whose parents brought him and his little bro here from Yugoslavia ten years ago to escape the insanity.

What are the chances??

Anonymous said...

I am so not believing the guy's name, no matter WHAT drugs his hippie parents used.

Anonymous said...

Uh. More religious zealotry and Mormons -- again. Geez. Can we get over the stereotyping already? We've seen bigotry from "outside" and arrogance from "inside." Shudder.
Of course, Catholics and pagans took their raps as well on this crapometer, so I suppose it's only fair. As I recall, we had dishonest priests and satanists stuck in here, too -- more stereotypes. Maybe we should mix the stereotypes around: polygamist Catholic priests, cat-sacrificing Mormons, and pagans in conservative black suits knocking on doors to get converts. At least it'd be a change.
And, the name might be Yugoslavian, but stuck in a Utah crime novel, it made me wonder when Eragon or possibly Obi-Wan Kenobi would show up.
I love a good crime novel, but I'm not sure that sci-fi/fantasy and crime fiction is such a good mix. Maybe if you worked at it a bit.
Hey, let's go back to those Mormons on Mars, shall we?

Anonymous said...

I remember this (from EE?). You've done a good job with it, author.

Anonymous said...

'Tis the writer,

Tulie, my protag is Croatian, and fictional, but does have a brother as well. If you tell me your workmate's sib is named Branko, I'm going to unleash a thrombo.

Parents, immigrants. You ain't a big hockey fan, I bet.

Stereotypical reaction to make sweeping generalizations from a short passage like this. In fact, the religious zealots are not mainstream Mormons (the lead detective, a sympathetic guy, is a Mormon, but I have a feeling you'd be upset by the Jack Mormon character I have). You shouldn't feel personally offended each time the LDS (lick, drink and suck--the perfect acronym for the proper order of downing a tequila shot) pop up in a hook/query/short passage. Not everyone sterotypes Mormons the way you stereotype the people you think are stereotyping them.

Thanks anon at the bottom. I've a ways to go, but now I've got my Trip tik from (((Miss Snark))) to lead the way.

puzzlehouse said...

I think a lot of us mystery/suspense/thriller writers made the mistake of keeping our bad guys under wraps in our hooks. We focused on the protagonist, the crime, the investigation...and got whacked with the clue stick because our bad guys were missing or too vague or seemed cliched.

I really liked this book's premise and would snap it up in a second in a bookstore, but I can see now that a hook in a query has to give up all the secrets - otherwise, the agent doesn't know if the writer can deliver.

Tulie said...

Anonymous said...

"...If you tell me your workmate's sib is named Branko, I'm going to unleash a thrombo..."

Nah, his bro's name is Milan (pronounced MEE-lin).

First time I heard my friend Dragan being paged for a phone call, I thought, "Man, what a cool nickname Dragon is!"

Didn't I feel like a doofus...

Anonymous said...

a different anonymous said:

pagans in conservative black suits knocking on doors to get converts

Love that. Can I steal it?

Anonymous said...

Puzzler...yeah, I swept the bad guy under the carpet on this one. I think the problem with whodunits is that yougiveitsaway by unfurling the antag. Seems like that takes some mystery away from the hook rather than add to it. But whatsdoIknow? What number was yours?

Tulie...cool, don't-mess-with-me name, it is, but what it really means is "darling" or "sweatheart" in the local tongue. Ha!