Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Secret Agent #ALT-1

TITLE: The Error
GENRE: Adult Fiction


Against the advice of my mentor, I keep a gun in my drawer.

Harvey says a lawyer with a gun will eventually use it either on a client or on himself. Harvey is 62 and thinks he knows everything, but sometimes he’s clueless, living in the past. What lawyer nowadays doesn’t keep a gun in her desk?

I stare at the Ruger—a Super Blackhawk.

Ten minutes.

That’s how long Brandi, my assistant, thinks she can stall the FBI Special Agent who showed up unannounced. Then he’ll step through my door for our first face-to-face since I switched sides. He thinks I’ll cooperate with him, but things are complicated.

The gun beckons. I reach in, hesitate, and then pick it up. I aim it at my father’s face in our lovely family portrait. My attention shifts to my wonderful husband in the golden frame on my desk.
Then I gaze into the Ruger’s barrel and caress the trigger.

Nine minutes.


Last year a grateful client nick-named me “quick-draw” and gave me the revolver after I blew holes in the prosecution’s case. That’s how a trial should go: surprise your opponent with something she never thought about, watch the blood drain from her face, and accept victory with a touch of grace and a shitload of satisfaction.

The ancient Romans claimed poverty was the mother of crime, but no one’s poor any more. It’s “Scoreboard, Baby.” You win or you die.

But when the FBI comes knocking, no one wins.

19 comments:

pj schnyder said...

Your MC has a strong voice, I really enjoyed it.
The end of this sample kept me interested and wanting to read on, at least for the next couple of pages.

The opening line read as a touch awkward for me though and I think it could be stronger, more active.

Also, the introduction of Ruger could use a little more information. Is he sitting across the desk from her? Standing by the door? You can keep sentence structure concise to maintain the pacing but give the reader a little more to work with in terms of visualizing who she's dealing with.

GSMarlene said...

I was hooked with the first sentence - I understand her "relationship" with the gun.

I was a little confused about the switching sides part - but that is what would make me want to read on - and I would want that one answered quickly.

I thought the paragraph with the Roman concept felt out of place, but I would certainly want to keep reading this one. Good job.

Kathleen Basi said...

Hooked. Definitely. There's room for smoothing in the prose, but it's definitely very well written.

Anonymous said...

Hooked. Loved the voice. Good luck.

HollyD

kboatman said...

Fantastic first sentence. Some really great writing throughout and some that could use a little tightening up. I think the protagonist could use a little more motivation to pick up the gun. Not quite believable with an FBI agent outside her door. Loved the line about switching sides: taut, but informative. DIdn't think the last part was as strong as the first.

Beth said...

Hooked! Good job. Definitely something I would read on

Carol Newman Cronin said...

Hooked for sure, thanks to the strong voice. I agree with above comments that prose could still be tighter. Especially try to work around the serial "buts" in the last two sentences, which were jarring. But great job!

shielacblank said...

Wow - this is great! Any questions I was left with were the good kind that makes me want to read more. Definitely hooked :) Good luck!

Carolyn said...

I think I'd rather see some of this shown and see the setting.

This sounds familiar. Think I read something like this last year, but the woman was pregnant and had a gun.

Good luck with this tough girl!

Secret Agent said...

I loved this. Love that she's a woman--it was a real surprise for me. Love all the zingers.

Jess said...

This totally hooked me! It's very smoothly written, and I was able to just fall into the story. Would I turn the page? Absolutely! In fact, I wish there were more to read right now :)

Julianna Helms said...

Definitely hooked. I agree that the Roman part jarred me out a bit, but otherwise the narrative went by very smoothly for me. Great job! :D

Devon Ashley said...

I'm hooked enough to keep reading a bit longer. :)

French Lady said...

Excellent. I'm hooked. I'd read it.

Heather said...

very tight writing...i like the perspective here. hooked.

Ninja Girl said...

I thought this was truly exceptional. Great, great job and definitely agree about the tight writing. Also filled with a great sense of atmosphere/tone/who the character is. Loved it.
Ninja Girl

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Mary said...

It read well and made sense. I understood the situation at hand and the characters involved. Nice tension and a good hook!

Bron said...

I think I've read this before, and I remembering really liking it then. Not much I'd change, I was just a bit confused when you said she turned her attention to the photo of her husband - was she actually pointing the gun at him, or just looking at him? I assume you mean the former but I wasn't sure.