Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Secret Agent #24

GENRE: Thriller

I leaned against the Plexiglas divider of our lane, watching Abby empty magazines with no fear.

She knew exactly how to turn me on.

The safety glasses kept slipping, the earmuffs dwarfing her head, but the confidence fit like a 
glove; by the time a spent mag hit the floor, she’d already clicked a new one in, racked and fired.

Here, she couldn’t falter, and I liked that, but being here also did for her what the meds 
couldn’t, and I liked that more.

My Glock therapy was promising.

All her shots center mass, I gave her a thumbs-up and she rolled her eyes, changing the targets and giving my shoulder a sympathetic pat before I took my place on the line.

I was halfway through the set when my phone vibrated against my hip, my partner’s number on the screen. Holstering on instinct, I picked up as I shouldered my way through the door, the brass bell going off behind me, then again as Abby followed.

“Nick,” I said, crossing the lot to my unmarked, pulling at my earplugs. “What’s up?”

“I’ve got one hot off the presses. Where are you?”

“Doesn’t matter,” I said, reaching for the door of the Crown Vic.“Where’s it at?”

“It’s twenty-six Hawkins, in the Silver Terrace development.”

“I’ll be there.” I said, ending the call, Abby watching me over the hood.

“You’re leaving.” She said.

Watching me fish the duty ammo from my pocket was more than enough confirmation.

Therapy was over.


  1. Terse and terrific--well done!

  2. I absolutely loved the first few paragraphs. By the end, it felt a little choppy, I didn't quite feel grounded in the scene, but still, overall, great job! I would definitely read on.

  3. Hilarious. Not that is was supposed to be comedic, but the last line hooked me.

    One thing that distracted me though was when his phone vibrated on his hip and his partner's number was on the screen. I don't know how he could know this unless he retrieved his phone to look at the screen. If there was a unique ring tone, I could understant this, but it must be vibrating in his pocket, right? Just a bit of a disconnect there (if you'll excuse the pun).

    Oh, and "You're leaving." She said. Your dialogue tag should be connected with a comma, not a separate sentence.

  4. Love the Glock therapy! I can relate. It's a good start, but it's too early to tell if this is a generic thriller or if you've brought something unique. I would give it a few pages to see where this goes.

  5. I'm not usually one for this genre, but I'd read this!

    I love your set up and how you draw us in. The character interaction is also good and they seem real. And the idea of Glock therapy has me wanting to read more.

  6. You've written a tense beginning.

    My problem is the flow. The choppy sentences make the piece sound a bit ragged. I couldn't visualize him seeing his partner's ID when the phone was vibrating on his hip. Also,
    I think it should also read "You're leaving," she said.

    Good last line.

  7. I didn't have a problem with the partner's number being on the screen. I just assumed he looked at his phone. And since describing him pulling it off his hip would slow down the quick scene you've got going here, I think that's appropriate.

    Though I'd like to know more about who Abby is, this is good. I'd keep reading.

  8. I like this! The voice is engaging and I love the Glock therapy. Nicely done! Good luck!

  9. This was great. Glock therapy--like it. I'd keep reading.

  10. I have to say I was confused by the first line. My first thought when I read "magazines" wasn't "ammo." However, I really liked the voice of this character and her idea of therapy. I would definitely read more. A few critques: 1) clarify magazines in the first line, 2) "unmarked" in the 8th paragraph needs an object like car or vehicle, 3) She said is a dialogue tag and should be written as follows: "You're leaving," she said.

  11. The characters here are great. I'm a sucker for hard-boiled detectives chasing after damaged women, especially when said detectives are as well-characterized as this one.

    However, I did have to read the first half of this twice to understand what was going on. A little more description may be helpful.

  12. Consider cutting some of these very long sentences in half with a simple period. I think you're going for staccato delivery, but these very long sentences with multiple clauses actually slow down and hinder the understanding for the reader.

  13. It took me a bit to catch on to the setting. The words "lane" and "magazine" threw me. I liked the edginess of your voice. I'm not a fan of the thriller genre, but I would keep going with this one.

  14. Loved the voice of this one! Pacing moves fast and POV feels smooth.

    It took me to the third sentence to pick up on the POV and setting--the first sentence may need one more hint at setting to kick it in from the start. Is he answering the phone before pulling out his earplugs?

    Plenty of intriguing questions right off the bat to make me want to read more!

  15. This is great! I loved the second sentence with its promise of romance.

    Also I really loved this exchange:
    Where are you?”
    “Doesn’t matter,”
    Clearly you, too, aren't going to weigh down readers with the unnecessary, only what most matters to your story and pacing.

    Even a hook at the end of this passage. (Therapy was over.) Superb!

  16. My comment seems to have been deleted. Let me try again. When I first read the piece about "magazines" I imagined her tossing Ladies Home Journal and Women's Day. Clearly that's not the case! This has quick pacing, but there are some cliches here already (crown vic, using a glock) that may need to be avoided. This seems hard boiled but what stands out for me is Abby. I want to know what's up with Abby and why she needs Glock Therapy. Hard boiled can be tough sells so make sure this is fresh.