Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. Sam Brooker, postal worker, wants to break into the librarian trade. Through a series of misunderstandings he ends up running an underground gambling ring. Also, tickets to the policemen's ball.
2. Hard-bitten cop Ed "Bookem" Brooker faces his most hackneyed, cliche-filled case yet when the corpse of the local millionaire's son turns up in a meat locker. Sassy redheaded reporter Francie Wilkes shows up every third chapter in high heels and a tight skirt.
3. Norm Brooker's encyclopedic knowledge of Hawaii Five-O fails to impress his friends or the girl he secretly loves. When Norm's hometown is hit by a rash of crimes that mirror classic episodes of his favorite show, will Norm finally get his chance to shine? Or will he find that real crime fighting isn't as easy as his TV heroes made it look?
4. Cheerleader Chrissy is failing science. When Mr Thompkins assigns them a CSI project, she knows just who to get as her partner--nerdy Danny Brooker. But rival Stacey is angling for him as well, and she's offering to date him, too! Oh, it is SO on!
5. Make the coffee, Brooker. Fetch us some donuts, Brooker. File our reports, Brooker. Sexism is one thing, but can sharp-eyed Vivian Brooker overcome the emotional frailty inherent to her gender long enough to capture a serial killer--before she becomes his next victim?
6. Book'em, Brooker. Sharpen my pencil, Brooker. Hoover the cells, polish the handcuffs, Brooker. Sexism is one thing, but can sharp-eyed Valerie Brooker turn her reputation as a 'dumb blonde' to her advantage while she gathers evidence to book her obviously crooked captain?
7. Shy but brilliant forensics student Jill Pender has a secret: an imaginary friend, hard boiled detective Buck Brooker who has gotten her through every course with honors. But joining the police means taking a psych exam. Can she give up her secret weapon? But perhaps more importantly: will Brooker let her go?
Dear Evil Editor:
In 1973, Vivian Brooker is the first policewoman in the Cedar Falls Police Department. Chauvinistic officers in the squad are licking their chops anticipating [expecting] “Helen Reddy” to faint under the emotion [Emotional] strain of the gritty job. [Has anyone actually fainted since Victorian England?] Eager to hasten her dismissal, the officers play practical jokes and heap grunt work on her. Vivian is assigned the coffee making, donut fetching, and paperwork filing office tasks, which she must perform between freeing her desk drawers of jock straps and porn magazines. [I don't see how assigning her tasks that don't involve the emotional strain of the gritty job will hasten her dismissal. She's not gonna get fired for making bad coffee.] [Also, is it possible for a place called Cedar Falls to have so much major crime that police work is gritty?] [Also, is "gritty" the word you want? When it doesn't mean sandy, it means courageous, resolute. I get the impression you were going for tough and demanding.] [Finally, there was no Internet in 1973, so no cop would have been willing to sacrifice his porn mags just for a practical joke.]
Her first taste of criminal activity, a bank robbery in progress, leads to disaster when she is taken hostage at gun point. Vivian surprises her fellow officers by keeping a cool head and convincing the robber to free her and surrender. [So it didn't lead to disaster.] Emboldened by her demonstration of her insight into a criminal’s mind, [Most cops would have simply assumed the bank robber wanted to get away with the eighty grand he just stole, but Vivian realized he wanted to surrender and spend ten to twenty years in a prison cell with a big-armed guy named Bubba.] Vivian tells the Police Captain [of] her passion for detective work.
The Police Captain arranges for her to review a few cold case files with a veteran detective. But after days of studying the gruesome details of the victims of the Ulrich Park Murderer, Vivian’s emotion [Emotional!] stability begins to unravel. She starts making careless mistakes: misfiling papers at work, [bringing the captain a honey-dipped donut instead of a cruller,] forgetting her badge at home. She longs to retreat into the security of a strong man’s arms rather than her empty apartment. [In short, she realizes that her passion isn't for detective work, it's for Jim Rockford.]
Vivian wonders if the chauvinistic officers are right; maybe her emotional [I see my nagging finally got through to you.] frailty is inherent to her gender and a determent [detriment?] to the police force. After she receives a threatening phone call from a man claiming to be the Ulrich Park Murderer, she decides to turn in her badge.
The Police Captain convinces her to stay on the squad while the team uses her as bait to lure the murderer into a trap. But can she depend on the same men who wanted her off the police force to protect her life? [Of course she can. You think they wanna go back to making their own coffee?]
“Book’em Brooker”, a novel complete at 80,000 words, is an account of a woman’s discovery of her strengths and weaknesses, and her journey to appreciate the strengths of the men around her.
Thanks for your consideration.
So, the heroine of the book unravels when she studies the details of gory crimes, longs to retreat into the security of a strong man’s arms, wonders if her emotional frailty is inherent to her gender, and turns in her badge when she gets a threatening phone call? Who's your target audience? Chauvinistic men who want to see her fail? She doesn't sound like the kind of woman one envisions at the vanguard of the women's rights movement.
Any halfway decent detective would realize there's no way the actual Ulrich Park Murderer is gonna be phoning her. Even if he's a cop, is he really gonna be worried that she'll solve a case the department couldn't?
If your word choice and usage aren't spot-on, it will be assumed this is a problem in the book. Is it?