Guess the Plot
A Phony War
1. Navi and Dave's TechnoPhone stall used to be the busiest kiosk at the mall - until the Chin sisters arrived with their pink, glitter-covered electronics. Is there only coverage for one pay-as-you-go mobile sales team? Or are this foursome's problems just a question of miscommunication?
2. A boxer and a street performer become spies on opposite sides during WWII. When the two become trapped on a snowbound train, will their personal duel decide the outcome of the war? Or are they just two self-important egomaniacs whose antics will have no effect on history?
3. It seemed like a great idea: Get the eighth-grade history class involved in the Civil War by dividing them into North & South. Now that the bodies are piling up, is it too late to save the Spring Dance?
4. 2G. 3G. 4G 5G. Seems the cell phone wars will be won by the company that puts the highest number in front of the letter "G." Phil Jameson's start-up company may not have the range of the established big boys, but when he advertises his network as 9 billion G, customers flock to him. But will they abandon him when Floyd Jones starts his 2H phone network?
5. With budget cutbacks threatening to deprive the military of their fat appropriations, the joint chiefs fabricate a war in Afghanistan against actors playing a fictional enemy called the Taliban. Congress ups defense spending, and all is well--until reporter Liz Carlisle actually goes to Afghanistan and discovers there are no troops and no war. Can Liz get her story out before Haliburton's black ops team takes her out?
6. When soldiers in a black ops unit discover that their unit is a fabrication, and they've actually been starring in a reality TV show called War, half of them want to take out the producers for endangering their lives while the other half want to capitalize on their new fame. Soon a mini-war breaks out among the soldiers, leading to twelve deaths and the season's highest ratings.
Please consider my suspense novel A PHONY WAR for representation (116k words). Your interest in character driven literary narratives prompted this query. [Is an agent interested in character-driven literary narratives really the best target when you're selling a suspense novel?]
Stubborn but bruised and no longer sure of his instincts, Richard Kast confronts a final chance to resurrect either his career or himself during the London Blitz. A working class policeman and visceral ex-boxer illogically recruited into military intelligence, [By which you mean that you couldn't think of any logical reason military intelligence would recruit this guy, so you decided to claim they had no logical reason.] [What is meant by a "visceral ex-boxer"? I can see describing a boxer as visceral, I guess; are you saying he was a visceral boxer but now that he's an ex-boxer he's still visceral? Do we need that word? If it means his success derives from his instincts rather than his intellect, you've already claimed he's no longer sure of his instincts.] he struggles against ambition, the endemic dishonesty of his work and machinations by rival superiors. [He hasn't seemed ambitious to me. He's been described as hanging on, trying to resurrect his career. How is he struggling against ambition? And is he really struggling against machinations by his superiors? Usually in the military you just do what you're told. You could just say he struggles with the endemic dishonesty of his work and endures machinations by rival superiors, but I might prefer you just got on with the actual story.] The dilemma deepens [What is the dilemma?] when pursuit of a German spy behind a series of stunning espionage attacks turns intensely personal and challenges Kast’s physical and emotional limits.
Beguiling but fractured soul carved by the cruel realities of street performing, the Spy enables treason through trickery and role playing and disappears, a wisp without a trace. [Your book may have literary aspirations, but your query needs to be clear. If you put the word "A" in front of that sentence it will actually become a sentence, and if you change "enables" to "achieves" the sentence will make sense. But really, the cruel realities of street performing? Beguiling but fractured soul? Let's not go overboard.] He fancies himself a modern day Prospero and pretends the performance is all [comma] but the required anonymity chafes and he craves recognition, applause and a worthy adversary. He chooses Kast. [A washed-up cop/ex-boxer with no espionage experience and no logical reason to be a spy, trying to resurrect his life, is a worthy adversary for Superspy? That's like Lex Luthor choosing Charlie Sheen as his adversary.]
Similar societal outcasts, one seeks redemption and the other retribution. Their duel, acumen against will and guile against strength, ends in a deadly confrontation aboard a snowbound train in which both are horribly deceived. As Kast’s best friend remarks after his betrayal, “Is not the purpose of humanity to amuse the Creator? How better than through mischief?” [I like the quote better without the second sentence.]
The story should appeal to readers of Alan Furst and early Ken Follett. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to your response.
I actually find the German spy to be the more interesting character, but as he was on the losing side, I guess he'll have to play second fiddle.
I would cut most of the first two plot paragraphs and get to the story. It's Holmes vs. Moriarty. Bond vs. Goldfinger. Smart vs.