Aug 17, 2009

Query- The Last Flight (Version 4)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second version.
Click here to read the third version.

Agency
Agent

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent

Flannary Investments LLC has been on the SEC's Division of Enforcement radar for a long time. Their increasing power in the markets and trading irregularities had triggered alarm bells. Jeff Conklin, SEC investigator, was assigned to the case.

When Conklin investigates, he discovers irregularities that go far beyond suspicious trades. Flannary Investments isn't a run of the mill powerful hedge fund. It's a massive investment scheme. Built upon a complex web of betrayal, trust, sex and murder.

Richard Harper a highly respected, freelance investigator never expected he would become part of an elaborate cover-up when he accepted an offer from the CFO of Flannary Investments LLC to investigate an investment scheme larger than he had ever known. And he would never have imagined that during the investigation, his wife was being seduced by its CEO.

Conklin teams up with Richard Harper to try and unravel the scheme. But the more they unravel, the more they find themselves entangled in the darkest corners of the hedge fund world where Flannary Investments operates.

The closer they get to the truth, the more desperate Flannary Investments becomes to stop them. As they target the company, they discover that Flannary Investments is targeting them.

Your agency was recommended as one of the top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Agent, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I am prepared to send the entire 85k manuscript upon your request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Author

4 comments:

Suzan Harden said...

Given the current economic climate, the CEOs of investment companies make excellent bad guys. *grin*

I haven't looked at the previous versions of the query on purpose so my comments focus exclusively on this query.

Use specific facts from the manuscript in the query. The entire query reads vague. What kind of suspicious trades are being investigated? What kind of scheme? What does sex have to do with hedge funds?

Who's the main protagonist? Conklin is mentioned first, but it sounds like Harper has more at stake in the story. It's best to start the query with the character who has the most conflict, the greatest character arc.

What causes Harper and Conklin to team up? What is Flannery doing to target them?

Watch the passive voice. The first couple of paragraphs start weakly because of passive verbage.

Best wishes on your submissions!

Robert A Meacham said...

Susan,
Thank you for your suggestions. I hope this helps:

Flannary Investments LLC, under suspicion of defrauding a group of investors, now faces criminal investigation from the SEC's Division of Enforcement. Eric Flannary allegedly committed mail fraud relating to the collapse of hedge funds he controlled through his firm. Flannary sent phony return statements to investors that showed balances that were more than 1,000 times more than the actual value of the firm’s accounts.
Jeff Conklin, SEC investigator begins to build his case against Flannary.
When Conklin investigates, he discovers irregularities that go far beyond suspicious trades. Flannary Investments isn't a run of the mill powerful hedge fund. It's a massive investment scheme. Built upon a complex web of betrayal, trust, sex and murder.
Flannary Investments, being member of National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) is identified as self-regulatory organization (SRO). SROs must create rules that allow for disciplining members for improper conduct and for establishing measures to ensure market integrity and investor protection. SRO proposed rules are published for comment before final SEC review and approval. Flannary needed Richard Harper to show the SEC these rules.

Richard Harper a highly respected, freelance investigator never expected he would become part of an elaborate cover-up when he accepted an offer from the CFO of Flannary Investments LLC to prove the company’s integrity. And he would never have imagined that during the investigation, his wife was being seduced by its CEO.

Conklin teams up with Richard Harper to try and unravel the scheme. But the more they unravel, the more they find themselves entangled in the darkest corners of the hedge fund world where Flannary Investments operates.

The closer they get to the truth, the more desperate Flannary Investments becomes to stop them. As they target the company, they discover that Flannary Investments is targeting them.

Your agency was recommended as one of the top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Agent, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I am prepared to send the entire 85k manuscript upon your request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Author

Madeline said...

I realize there's a lot going on, but the query is a little long. I'd suggest trying to cut it down to the barest details and then added a few little quirks to give it some orginality.

"Jeff Conkin, SEC investigator, believes his newly assigned investigation of Flannary Investments LLC is just another typical case of some trading irregularities triggering alarm bells but what he discovers is actually a massive investment scheme built upon a complex web of betrayal, trust, sex and murder. (etc)"

I know that's a really long sentence, but you get the idea.

Sounds like an interesting idea though, good luck!

Donna Hole said...

You're getting there Robert. It is amazing how far you've come with this query. I must say though, the second re-write (in this comments section, didn't work for me at all. To much info on Flannery Investments.

I like this query. There's a lot of juicy info. Some info is a little redundant. I spent quite a while trying to re-write a bit, shorten it, make it pack a bit more punch, but I just couldn't pin-point it. Probably because I could never write a crime mystery, though they are one of my favorite reads.

Maybe what I'm looking for in the query is something more - - um abrupt? Heavily laced with macho? I'd like to see why Conklin is picked to head this investigation (previously decorated agent, mad-dog investigator who stops at nothing to get his case closed), and why he teams up with Richard Harper (no one else knows more about whatever the rules Flannery is setting/enforcing than down and the down and out freelancer).

Something like that. I don't know. I'd just like to see it pack a little punch.

I'm sorry to see the parachute scene leave the query, but I think it was the right choice.

Good luck with this one. I really think it's your best, and would most likely work with an agent.
..........dhole