Query Critique 77

Dear Lucky Agent:

TITLE TBD, an upmarket suspense novel, is complete at 90,000 words. It follows the mental deterioration of a desperate character and will appeal to fans of Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River and Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places. Because of your call for psychological suspense with deeply troubled characters, this might be the book for you. I think you’re probably better off saying “this might be a good fit” than this is THE book for you. Agents handle multiple books at a time. And it just comes off as a little over confident to me.

A john’s love for his hooker descends into a crippling obsession. I think the main character’s name needs to be in the first sentence. Makes the character clear from the beginning. Paul Myers, who lives a humble, dinner-for-one life in Las Vegas, can no longer ignore the urge to profess his love to Janelle, his hooker. I actually think this sentence might make a better hook. But when her self-proclaimed “broker” forbids him from seeing her, Paul breaks into the home-brothel and discovers that her broker recently sold her to overseas sex traffickers. Abandoning his life of apathy and mediocrity, Paul has no choice but to rescue her himself, which leads to desperate and deadly acts of moral ambiguity. There might be a little room for more specificity when you say “desperate and deadly acts of moral ambiguity.” Like what, exactly?

While the book is by no means didactic, I was inspired to write it during my work with Nevadans for the Common Good, a group that has pushed to enact harsher penalties for johns. I currently live in Las Vegas with my wife, our Cane Corso Mastiff, and our orange tabby cat. I have a BA in English from UNLV, and I spent a year as a copy editor. I’d leave out the part about it not being didactic. Let the story speak for itself. 

Below, I’ve pasted the first ten pages of my manuscript, and the remainder is available in its entirety upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Author Contact Info


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