Shadow of Turning
Dear [Name of Agent]:
A favor for a friend lands Latina lawyer Gianne Noble in the middle of a double murder trial and a media frenzy, with the paparazzi poised to make or break her career. Her legendary client, fallen Tejano music star Benny Benavides, would choose death row over letting his daughter–or his lawyer–learn the family secret that would clear him. Then Gianne's pursuit of the truth uncovers the tie between the victims and the daughter's long-dead mother.
Gianne's client begs her to shield his child. If she stands silent by his side, she'll lose–with cameras rolling–both the case and a reputation for rescuing the innocent. Benny will be executed. An orphaned girl, believing her father a murderer, will remain sheltered forever from a far more savage truth, unaware he sacrificed his life to protect her.
Gianne must turn away from her own client–betray him–to set him free. She also must shatter his daughter's life with knowledge no child should ever hear, for the victims' blood also flows through her veins. And Gianne knows that the girl will learn worse, unimaginably worse, the legacy of evil borne by a depraved killer who stalked her through Benny's concerts, watching, waiting....
Gianne's client is willing to die by his choice. She has to live with hers.
Set in the scenic Texas Hill Country, SHADOW OF TURNING, a 95,000-word suspense novel, is based on an actual case pulled from the files of an FBI profiler. My education in literature and law took root in my native Texas but was cultivated at Oxford. Here are [agent's requirements] of SHADOW OF TURNING for your consideration. Thank you for your time.
I think this is almost there! It may well garner requests (and I hope it does!) as is, but I do have a couple of suggestions.
The first is a subtle change. In P1, we get effect before cause when the second sentence tells us Benny has a family secret he'd choose to keep over death row. But it's in the next sentence that Gianne discovers that secret. To keep the query more in G's POV, you could switch the order.
The second suggestion is around P3. For me, it teases, but not concretely enough. It raises questions about a killer who stalked her and seems to be trying to create suspense around that when in fact it's something that happened in the past and, from the rest of the query, I'm assuming that the stalker is dead and the daughter is no longer in physical danger from him/her. It feels kind of like a cheat.
This is one time when I would suggest trimming that third paragraph. Silence would speak more than the tease that's there, I think. So maybe something simple like:
But to maintain her reputation and set Benny free, she must betray her client and destroy a young girl's innocence.
Her client is willing to die by his choice. She has to live with hers.
I love those last two sentences!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Query 34: Redux
Shadow of Turning