Aug 17, 2009

Query "Stand-In"

Dear Agent,

Detective John Broden and Special Agent Alex Darby have been thrust into their worst nightmare; a serial killer that leaves the next body faster than the investigators can process the evidence from the previous one. Add in the fact that the killer is clearly trying to turn each victim into some unknown woman, and Broden and Darby definitely have their work cut out for them. They both know that the key to solving the murders will be determining the identity of the mystery woman.

When they stumble into the middle of what appears to be an unrelated case, they find their key. Kelly Jo Carter is, without a doubt, the object of a killer’s twisted obsession. She is also a woman with a severe, yet well placed, mistrust of law enforcement. As Kelly lays out a story of corruption and betrayal, of brutality and abuse, it is almost more than the lawmen can believe.

“Stand-In” is a completed 84,000-word commercial fiction thriller and as a victim of a violent crime myself, I was able to incorporate some of my own experiences into the story line. “Stand-In” is not only packed with suspense, but allows readers to really feel the emotions that overwhelm victims.

I would be happy to send the entire manuscript, or any portion of it, for your review if you are interested. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.




Suzan Harden said...

This sounds like it could be an intriguing story.

Watch using passive verbs though. They detract from the tension of the story.

Add more speficity to the query. I was confused by the killer turning "each victim into some unknown woman." At first I thought the killer mutilated the victim to make identitfication impossible.

Also, show us why Kelly Jo doesn't trust cops. The description in the second paragraph is vague, and the story needs something to stand out in a crowded field.

Who's the main protagonist? Kelly Jo, John or Alex? The query will have a totally different feel with the focus on Kelly Jo than it would with the two male investigators. If Kelly Jo's the focus of the ms (which the third paragraph suggests), start the query with Kelly Jo.

Leave out the last sentence in the third paragraph. It's not a good idea to tell the reader what to feel. The ms should show the emotions.

Best wishes on your submissions!

Watery Tart said...

I think this sounds like a fabulous STORY, but I have some trouble with the language--it is too slangy, which would be okay if it was from one of the character's perspectives, but as a narrator it just feels too casual.

Example: first paragraph... a killer is a person (or people) so it should be a killer WHO, not that.

I'm not an agent, or agented, so this may be a misconception on my part, but I feel like it would flow better with tidier grammar. But not only that, it awakens a small fear the book has similar grammar issues.

RCWriterGirl said...

This is a fabulous query. I really liked it. I think you've got a couple of sentences that have an extra word thrown in or could be broken into two, but ther overall effect is interesting. I'd certainly read pages if I were an agent.

Specifics: I don't think you need "in" after Add. Just, "Add the fact that the killer..."

Probably, "when they stumble onto what appears to be.." (don't need: into the middle of"

At the end, get rid of "if you are interested." Saying you would be happy to send it presumes you only send it if they're interested.

Anyway, I think it's a great query. Sounds like a great thriller.