Jul 29, 2009

QUERY-Killing Time on the Highway (rev. 2)

Click here to read the original query.

Minnesota State Patrol investigator Cade Dawkins takes on the case of a lifetime when a bloody highway shootout leaves behind eight dead bodies—and $300 million in cash. His last assignment was a disaster that left his partners dead and his career on life support. Cade jumps at the opportunity for redemption, recognizing this will either be his biggest case—or his final case.

As Cade gets close to uncovering the money’s owner, there’s a problem: the owner has his own plan to get it back. Four of the cruelest men to ever crawl out into daylight use a stolen Hummer and automatic weapons to launch a catastrophic attack on the Twin Cities’ busiest highway to slow down Cade’s investigation—and help audacious thief Martin Clements break into Patrol headquarters to steal the money back. This high adrenaline story will make you feel like you were behind the wheel at 120 miles per hour.

Killing Time on the Highway, my 68,000 word thriller, will appeal to fans of the Prey series by John Sandford. His novels have taught me that strong characters, tight plotting and page turning action are important ingredients to a successful thriller.

Having written professionally for the last ten years, focusing on advertising and marketing, I quickly learned the value of powerful ideas and concise execution. I am currently 40,000 words into my second novel—an unrelated thriller.

Best regards,
Allan Evans

8 comments:

PRNewland said...

Well done!

The first one was pretty tight as well, but I like the revision a bit better.

I keep reading on various blogs that a query should match the tone of the novel. Not having read it, I can't say if it does, but the revision makes the protagonist sound a bit stronger with the changes in phrasing "takes on," etc. It definitely cements him as the principal actor in the piece. I'd vote for #2. Sounds like a good story, and I really like the title. Good luck!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Nice job of adding specific detail, tightening and clarifying. This revision is swift and to the point.
I think you can lose some of the final graph. All you need say is that you worked professionally in advertising and marketing. Agents know what that means.

FictionGroupie said...

Sounds great. I would consider leaving out "This high adrenaline story will make you feel like you were behind the wheel at 120 miles per hour." I've read on a few agents' blogs that they hate it when a writer tells them how they are supposed to feel.

Good luck!

folksinmt said...

Much better! I like this one. I agree with Groupie...the line about feeling like you are going 120 mph should get the ax. It's telling, not showing. Sounds like a good story.

froggfeathers said...

Hey Allan,

This is nice. I would tighten it up just a bit more if it were me.

Consider these cuts:

Four of the cruelest...into daylight launch a catastrophic attack...hoping to slow down the investigation and steal back their money.

Cut This high adrenaline.... It is telling not showing.

Cut the final paragraph and replace it with a simple, I am a professional writer in the field of advertising or something along those lines.

Leave out the second novel and end with Thank you for your consideration.

Hope that helps. Nice work and I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great story and one that will be a page turner. The first part about the 300 million on the highway caught my attention and then the second movement to get the money back with an assault on downtown Minn raises the ante and excitement level nicely.

here are my suggestions fwiw:

but there's a major problem: the owner of the 300 Million wants his money back. And he is willing to do whatever it takest to get it. Including using four of the most depraved men in America to launch a devastatingly violent attack on Minneapolis' busiest highway during rush hour.

The brazen attack stuns the City and creates an atmopshere of terror that requires almost the entire police force to try and combat it. Which is just what the owner of the money had planned. As the cops are in a state of misdirection and panic, cold blooded thief Martin Clements is calmly breaking into Police headquarters to steal the money back.

This high adrenaline novel has enough action, plot twists and close calls to get your heart racing with every turn of the page.

Killing Time on the Highway, is a tightly written 68,000 word thriller. It will appeal to fans of the Prey series by John Sandford. Like Mr. Sanford's books, this novel has a compelling plot, strong characters, and page turning action which make it an immensely satisfying thriller.

I have written professionally for the last ten years, with a focus on advertising and marketing. I know the value of powerful ideas and the need for concise execution. I am currently 40,000 words into my next exciting thriller.

Best regards,
Allan Evans

gj said...

Much more active!

But kill all the puffery where you tell how great the book is. If you haven't shown that in the query, telling it won't help. It comes across as desperate. Trust the story. If YOU know that it's great, and you SHOW how great it is in the query, then the agent will have to agree.

RCWriterGirl said...

I really liked it. Thought it was well done.

The only comment I would have goes to this line: "four of the cruelest men to ever crawl out into daylight." I think you should omit the word out. People can crawl out of darkness or crawl into the light. Crawl out into the light sounded awkward.