Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #137

Genre: Adult Mystery
Word Count: 98,000


Truman North is a private detective in Lancaster County, PA.  A single dad of two precocious little girls with an ex-wife who has just began dating a new client that is terribly wrong for her.  While his family life is constantly challenged by this new presence, the prospects for his career have picked up dramatically as he has been hired by a video game designer to be a consultant for the new game he is developing. 
On the romantic front, Truman meets an extremely intriguing woman who sweeps into his life and mesmerizes both he and his girls while at the same time helping him lower his defenses and live life a little more to the fullest.

Late one afternoon his ex-wife calls on the oft chance to see if he could pick up the girls, as she needs to work late that night at her office with the new client.  When he shows up at the sitter’s house to pick them up he finds his youngest daughter bruised and beaten . . . at the hand off the new boyfriend.

As expected, Truman races to his wife’s office where he finds the man and after a very brief education, beats him within an inch of his life.  Truman spends the rest of a long night drinking with his new girl and drifts off; devastated that he didn’t do anything to possibly prevent what had happened, but happy that he was able to take his pound of flesh.

When Truman wakes the next morning, the girl is gone and the man he beat the night before is found dead, with Truman’s gun and fingerprints at the scene.  Truman gets arraigned for the murder but accidently escapes from jail with the court appointed attorney in tow.

Hiding in various locations around the city, Truman joins forces with the video game designer and all the technology at his disposal to find out the truth of who set him up and why.

After a series of close calls, and a team of computer experts working on the case, Truman is led on a chase from the Amish Country to Philadelphia and back again. With the answer close and the FBI and State Police closing in, there is one last great battle at the offices of the video game company where Truman and his friends set the record straight.

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought . . .
                                                                                              (Albert Szent-Gyorgi)

First 250:

My name is Truman North. I am a thirty-six year old private investigator, and divorced father of two girls, living and sometimes working in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about sixty miles north-west of Philadelphia.

I know Truman is a little old fashioned, but it is a family name and at six-foot four and two-hundred and fifty pounds, many people try not to notice.

Although real-life investigative work is seldom as thrilling or as lawless as Hollywood might suggest, I have managed to stumble into several of the shoot-em-up, cop and robbers scenarios you see romanticized on the screen. For the record, I’ve been shot four times, stabbed twice and broken enough bones to merit my own private room in the emergency room at Lancaster General Hospital. Insightfully, the nurses have hidden away a few extra pints of my blood type . . . just in case my latest job didn’t quite progress as smoothly as I had hoped.
As a private investigator, I’m afforded the opportunity to meet a great number of people . . . all at the absolute worst time in their lives. In the past I’ve had my share of cheating spouses, insurance fraud, custody battles, and while these cases may not have given me the greatest sense of accomplishment, they have managed to provide me with the steadiest paycheck.


  1. Nice premise, but the first couple of lines in your query don't really draw me in. Make those first sentence the shockers!

  2. I agree. Thank you.

  3. Interesting premise. The query needs some proofing ("oft" instead of "off," "off" instead of "of") and I agree the first few lines need need more hook.

    I like the 1st 250. Great job of making character description exciting (listing injuries). The line about "private room in emergency room" feels a little repetitive. Maybe "private bed" or "at hospital" instead?

    I'm interested. Good work!

    -Brad #178

  4. Love the first 250 words. I really get a sense of his lively character and a peek into his have-I-got-a-story-for-you lifestyle. The query is longer than it has to be to lure an agent / editor in. I kept getting "make it 3 paragraphs" and "you don't want to give away the whole plot, just enough to wet the reader's appetite." With this plot, you could really work that angle!

  5. Debbie thank you so much for the comments. Great idea on the 3 paragraphs.

  6. I agree. Don't give away the entire plot in a query that's what a synopsis is for. I like the first 250 words too.