HH Com 618

Devil in the Kitchen

Crime scene investigator Kate Sawchuk doesn't make mistakes. So when the national fingerprint database results come back saying her crime scene prints--found in the victim's still-tacky blood--belong to a man who's been dead for a year, Kate's reputation is on the line.

Professional pride (and not a little pig-headedness) takes her to a biker bar to confront this "dead guy." Logic tells her he must have somehow faked his death, but some things in life can't be explained with logic and evidence, and one of them is Domenic Bonangelo--he's a wendigo, a cannibalistic shapeshifter with a heart of ice. (cause that's so refreshing a change of pace of course)

When a girl is murdered--a girl who, in the dark, could be mistaken for Kate--the body is found, bound and half-naked, in her car. There's a savage bite on her breast, the bruises like a ring of thin purple-blue pearls. The investigation reveals that the killer has raped at least four other girls, all of them bitten as well.

The obvious suspect would be Domenic...if he hadn't been in Kate's bed that night. Her "no mistakes" record is looking pretty piss-poor. (yup, one more strike and yer out)

Thanks to the killer's misdirection, Kate's co-workers, friends, and even her on-again/off-again boyfriend are all suspects. Logic and forensics point one direction, instinct and gut reaction another. The only person she can trust is Domenic, who's become a kind of misguided guardian angel watching over her.

But how far can you trust a monster wearing the face of an innocent boy?

Her boyfriend is a cannibal?
oh man.
oh man.
oh .....ICK.

Troubled woman, bad boyfriend, dead girls...ho hum.


Jean said...

What about a soft-hearted cannibalistic shapeshifter?

Anonymous said...

As soon as I started reading the other hooks and snarks, I knew I'd blown it. There's no sense of Kate's (or Domenic's) voice; there's no hint of conflict; the antagonist is a faceless nothing, etc. etc. etc.

Yup, the snark stings, but thank you for pointing out what I did wrong. You can bet I won't make the same mistakes the next time. :)

Maria said...

Interesting set-up, but most of all I like your writing. I'd read this.

Anonymous said...

Well, if she's letting a cannibal into her bed, I'd say that's conflict right there (lust vs. self-preservation?).

This intrigues me, but it's got too many sudden shifts. I sense a lot of plot that's hard to compress. How does Kate know to find the supposedly dead guy in a biker bar? (I realize there's no room to explain this in detail, but it's a jarring transition.) If Kate knows Domenic is a killer by nature, why does she sleep with him in the first place? (Sure, it can happen in a dark paranormal novel, but some setup would help.) Does Kate's on-again-off-again boyfriend know she's sleeping with the Wendigo (if indeed they're doing the nasty and not just resting innocently in the same bed)? Does he care?

Since there's no room to tie up all these threads in a hook, what I'd do if I were you is compress the murder stuff and focus on Kate's bizarre relationship with the wendigo. Or compress something else, depending on what's really central here. Also, substituting character voice for stock phrases would help-- if Domenic has a heart of ice, how can he become a guardian angel? I'd actually love to see how, but it needs to be shown, not stated.

Anonymous said...

How does being a cannibalistic shape-shifter work? Does he eat other shape-shifters? Eat others of his current form? I'm really curious how this works.