Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Secret Agent #45

TITLE: Splashback
GENRE: YA suspense

The Sour Patch Kids in the bottom of Heidi Maverick’s sparkly clutch probably bothered him the most.

The Sour Patch Kids, or the ticket stub from that new boy band’s concert.

The Sour Patch Kids, or the ticket stub, or the cotton candy flavored lip gloss.

As he dug deeper into the purse, those random bits of garbage tickled his hands with worry. He thought he’d picked the right girl this time. From afar, this Heidi had looked like a high school upperclassman, slutty and desperate—just the kind he usually took. He had even chatted her up to make sure her family wouldn’t come looking; sure enough, her parents were another dead-beat dad and overworked mom. Looked good and normal. Most importantly, she seemed profitable. So, he had signaled to his partner and spiked her drink.

Now she lay unconscious in front of him, half an hour away from that party. Each slow breath stripped away another week from her face, and that’s when he grabbed her purse, wondering if he could figure out her real age.

His fingers hit her fake ID first. Danielle Schmal, twenty-one.

No one would buy that. He could believe she was a young eighteen if he stretched, but the people at the party from which they’d come didn’t much care about things like the legal drinking age—or anything legal, for that matter. A pocket of the wallet hid her real ID, an ASB card from the local public high school.


  1. Hooked. I like how you reveal the contents of her purse. It gives the reader clues as to her real age. And I really like how this guy who drugged her who plans on doing something bad to her, seems to be growing a conscious of sorts. I guess my only suggestion would be to describe the girl sleeping before him a little more. Why did she look slutty? Maybe describe the make up she applied to look older, and now that she's passed out, maybe it's fading. Although you may describe her after this section, so my point may be unnecessary.:) Good job!

  2. I didn't like how repetative it got when you revealed the contents of her purse. But I liked everything else. I'm hooked.

  3. I thought this really had a strong sense of character, I liked the atmosphere from it. I do think maybe a little bit more about the girl too, I need to feel something more towards her.
    Although I would continue reading.

  4. Definitely hooked, want to know if anything he finds helps him talk himself out of his initial plans!

    The only sentence that struck me was "Looked good and normal." Since he's looking for slutty with a bad home-life, how is that "good" and gosh I hope that's not normal! Been a few years for me, but I still know more "clean" kids than "broken".

    Otherwise, definitely interested in reading more. Good job.

  5. Hooked by the situation and POV of MC, especially "she seemed profitable."

    Didn't like the repetition of Sour Patch kids, which was unnecessary and slowed me down (I had to read it twice and still don't see why the items bothered him.) Didn't relate "good and normal" with "slutty and desperate." Didn't understand "Each slow breath stripped away another week from her face."

    Bottom line, I'd definitely read more, but not much more if I keep having to re-read lines to figure out what is meant. IOW, lots to like here, but it needs more clarity.

    Nice work.

  6. I am deeply n' double-deliciously HOOKED by this!!! Tremendously original voice, tremendously mysterious, triply edgy turf you're treading! COOL, COOL, COOL!! ㋡

  7. Would like more showing and less repetition.

    Think you have a good idea here, but needs to be edited.

    The tickling hands sentence threw me out of the story, as did the repetition.

    Keep at this, though...

  8. I also didn't really connect with the Sour Patch Kids thing being repeated. I thought it was a typo at first glance. I can see what you're trying to do I think, but it didn't grab me the way I gather it was meant to.

    This probably isn't my type of book because starting out reading about the "bad guy" (or who seems like the bad guy from the get-go) doesn't really do anything for me. It sounds like he's about to assault her, and that's not really something I'm keen to read about.

    However, I do think you have a good voice and tone! I think I'd rather just relate to her than to him, but that's a personal thing.

    The "tickled his hands with worry" doesn't make sense to me. How does worry tickle?

    "Half an hour away from that party" threw me for a few seconds because I didn't know until then that they had met at a party.

    "Each slow breath stripped away another week from her face" didn't really make sense to me either.

    As I said, the voice is good and strong, but there are a lot of questionable phrases in this for me.

    Good luck!

  9. I love the description of the contents of her purse, but you can just list the items, you don't have repeat everything.

    I love the concept here.

    I found it confusing when he says that he found her fake i.d. first. I thought that he found the sour patch kids, the lipgloss, etc., first.

    Pretty soon I would want you to start giving us some clues as to where we are and who he is.

  10. The opening sentences threw me...I thought it was YA (from the header), but the Sour Patch Kids and sparkly purse made me think MG or younger. Also the pronouns in those sentences threw me also.

    However, after that I was hooked. In a sick sort of way. Now, of course, I need to know what happens to this poor girl.

    Would hope that the following paragraphs give us a little more of a sense of the MC, although his diabolical side is quite clear.

  11. I think this is really well-written, but I'm wondering if an MC who is prepared to rape an unconscious girl would really care about her age. I'd read on for a bit though.