Wednesday, August 27, 2008

#6 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

Title: Game, Set, Murder
Genre: Mystery

Carlos Vega found himself in a hell of a lot of pain. A thunderstorm battered his brain, complete with flashing streaks of light. He tried to open his eyes, but just moving his eyelids intensified the pain.

Memories began to flash in. A gun shoved in his face. A man ordered him to back off. Who was he? I knew him! Why can’t I see him now? Blinding anger when the man threatened Theresa and the girls. Fear of death in the man’s eyes as Carlos’ hands squeezed his neck. Sudden, searing pain in the back of his head. Then darkness.

"So, you’re awake, pretty boy."

Carlos felt a hard object pressed into his limp hand and knew immediately what it was. He tried to grasp it, but his hand wouldn’t obey. What’s wrong with me? I can’t move!

The man’s hand curled around his own and he felt the muzzle against the side of his head. God, no. Don’t do this! His labored breathing only made the pain worse. He growled with the frustration.

"How’s it feel now? You’re not the big man anymore, are you?"

In anger, Carlos shoved his weight toward the man, but recoiled as unbearable pain shot through his head. The metal click sounded just inches from his ear. This is it. I’m going to die.

"I…will…see you…in hell," Carlos managed to snarl through the agony.

Three little girls giggled and his last words slipped out in a whisper. "Theresa, forgive me."


  1. I was a bit confused. How did he throw his weight against somebody...I didn't think he could move?

    Maybe it's just me, and I know it's hard to convey a lot in 250 words, but I'm sorry, it just didn't pull me in. I just got so distracted by the fact that I couldn't get a clear picture in my head of the scene.

    :) Terri

  2. I'd read on, but I also was confused that he couldn't move, yet was able to throw his weight. It threw me out of the story.

  3. This was working for me in some respects, but lost me in others. Great title, lovin the protagonist, he is established as a handsome, married, kick ass, Latino father without dumping that info, instead creating the visual through the narrative- well done. Is he in a chair? Lying down? Why can’t he move but can throw his weight? Is he blindfolded? Gagged? How does he not see his attacker? Are the three little girls giggling at that moment or is that supposed to be a reference to hearing his daughters laugh one last time? I got confused, BUT these are very easy things to tweak. Hit it again and establish the scene a bit more.

  4. Hmmm, I probably wouldn't read on - the first and last paragraphs confused me as I couldn't work out how much was figurative and how much was literal.

  5. I'd read on and see if I could connect a little more down the line. Sometimes a page isn't enough.

    I get the character, but I didn't fall in love with it just yet.

    Almost hooked, but not quite. I'd need more...

  6. Thanks for your comments. My idea was for my character to take one last ditch effort & put all he had into saving himself - but apparently it didn't come out that way. Back to the drawing board - or rewrite table. So much to say, so few words!

  7. I am also puzzled by the bit about the girls giggling... but that is actually one of the reasons I'm so keen to read on.


  8. No- not because it's a bad start I just don't like children in thrillers. The idea of a killer near kids is enough of a turn off that I'll skip the book.

  9. No I'm sorry...

    I think your characters (with the exception of the disembodied girls at the end - and how did he know there were three of them?) are solid, but the setting is just too fuzzy, right down to the thing in his hand?

    Was it a gun or the other guy's hand? Or?

  10. It's a no for me, because 1) I really couldn't follow what was going on (can/can't he move, is he/isn't he on the floor, etc, and 2) the language comes across as overly formal and serves to put a distance between Carlos and your readers, rather than pull them closer. Sorry.

  11. There's a lot of suspense built into this opening, and the writing is good.

    It is rather confusing the way it is choreographed, and although I would probably read a few more lines to see if it improves, I feel that this story begins in the wrong place.

    Another thing, I felt the girls had been in danger because the man attacked them. But when the girls giggled, it really threw me off.

    An iffy hook.

  12. The girls giggling is a memory. I guess I need to make that more obvious. Thanks again to all who've made comments.

  13. I had to read it twice (which is not a good thing in a thriller imho) but I did figure out that the giggling girls were a memory. I was definitely intrigued enough by the situation he found himself in to read on.