Within Sight of God
1. Henrietta has been in and out of trouble her whole life, and it looks like things are likely to continue that way--until a judge assigns her a very unusual probation.
2. As Moses returns to camp, knowing that the Children of Israel will never believe what really happened on the mountain, he makes up the 10 Commandments, figuring that everyone will soon forget about them.
3. Five murders have been committed, all within sight of a church or synagogue. Detective Gray has no clues, but he does have incentive: his estranged wife will take him back if he solves the case.
4. When Pasang helps a stranded mountaineer with an evangelical bent, he brings religious strife into his peaceful village.
5. St. Egbert of Bagsdale, temping for St. Peter during the key-keeper's annual vacation in the Florida Keys, misdirects two souls and misplaces three more. He has seven days to find them and get them back to heaven, or he gets demoted from Sainted to Blessed.
6. Kui and Leanna dive into the ocean to hide their love-making. But someone is watching. Will the tidal wave be blamed on their indiscretion?
Two decades of homicide cases have eaten away at the soul of detective Michael Gray and infected the lives of those he loves. [His obsession with Law and Order has left him a broken, lonely man.] In the course of a day that starts with him kneeling in the snow next to a girl’s corpse and ends with his wife leaving him after suffering a miscarriage, Michael decides he’s finished.
Michael heads a task force investigating a series of ritualistic murders whose victims are mutilated and carefully posed. The latest corpse is the fifth in six weeks, and there are no suspects and few leads. But when Michael tries to quit, even suggesting his personal distractions are doing the investigation more harm than good, he meets resistance from multiple fronts. [For starters, the murderer insists he stay on the case.] His brother, an FBI agent trying to ride Michael’s coattails, fears the case may be turned over to the federal agency, thrusting him into a leadership role he isn’t ready for. [If he isn't ready, what makes him think they'll give him the job?] Michael’s boss expresses confidence and loyalty for past successes, but it’s just as likely he wants Michael to stay so he can be sacrificed later as a political pawn. And Michael’s estranged wife won’t take him back until the killer is caught because she knows he’d never really be free if the case remains unsolved. [Of course, there'll always be an unsolved case, whether it's this one or the next one.]
Seeing no other way out, Michael even considers suicide. Then he meets Orin Indigo, a dying priest [whose name happens to be an anagram for "groin injury," and] who has stumbled on links between the victims in the rosters of his church-associated activities, and may even have found the pattern pointing to the next victim: Jennifer Hannon. [Okay, fess up, how many of you checked to see whether it really was an anagram for groin injury?] Michael recognizes the name from a missing person’s report. Indigo also points out that the apparently unrelated locations where the bodies were found – a school parking lot, a cemetery, an old woman’s back yard – are all within sight of a church or synagogue. [This priest is a better detective than the detective.] Within sight of God, in other words, their deaths a message to the Almighty.
With Indigo’s help, Michael finds Jennifer in the company of Gabriel Westlake, a man with a troubled though perhaps misunderstood past, whose peculiar hypersensitivity disorder has made him a social outcast and once even landed him in prison. Gabriel claims to have kidnapped Jennifer for her own protection, and when Indigo kills Gabriel and escapes with Jennifer, Michael is forced to realize that the priest had far too many answers to be innocent. [For a dying priest, this guy has a lot of energy. Six murders, mutilations, kidnaping--what's he dying of? And what about Thou shalt not kill, mutilate, kidnap, etc.?]
Michael’s confrontation with Indigo after a chase through a sewer tunnel helps him to understand both his capabilities and limitations. [He's capable of running down a dying priest, but the stench of the sewer knocks him unconscious.] Afterward, no longer a detective, Michael also finds that healing his soul begins with healing his family.
I have enclosed a brief synopsis [That was a brief synopsis. Well, except for the "brief" part.] and the first five pages of my suspense / thriller novel entitled Within Sight of God, for which I am seeking representation. If you are interested, I would like the opportunity to send you some chapters or the full manuscript, which is complete at approximately 90,000 words. I have also enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.
Two decades of homicide cases have eaten away at the soul of detective Michael Gray, but he's never encountered anything like his current case. He heads a task force investigating a series of ritualistic murders whose victims have all been mutilated. The latest corpse is the fifth in six weeks.
With no suspects and few leads, Michael chances to meet Orin Indigo, a dying priest who has stumbled on links between the victims in the rosters of his church-associated activities, and may even have found a pattern pointing to the next victim: Jennifer Hannon. Indigo points out that the apparently unrelated locations where the bodies were found – a school parking lot, a cemetery, an old woman’s back yard – are all within sight of a church or synagogue. Within sight of God.
With Indigo’s help, Michael finds Jennifer in the company of Gabriel Westlake, a social outcast with a troubled past. Westlake has a prison record, and admits to kidnaping Jennifer, but he claims he did so for her own protection. Still, he's Michael's only suspect--until he's murdered.
I have enclosed a brief synopsis and the first five pages of my suspense/thriller entitled Within Sight of God, for which I am seeking representation. If you are interested, I would like the opportunity to send you some chapters or the full manuscript, which is complete at approximately 90,000 words. I have also enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.
It was pretty long, and I figured if you're going to describe it as a suspense/thriller, we could do without the estranged wife, the suicide thoughts, the sibling rivalry, etc. Now if it were literary fiction, we'd keep all that and leave out the good stuff.
Although it's not necessary to keep secrets from the agent, she doesn't actually care who's guilty, so why mention to your Catholic agent that you've created a priest who's murdered and mutilated numerous people? Priests have gotten enough bad press lately. She'll find out after she's seen how great your book is (at which point she'll have you make the murderer a Protestant minister, and give him a different name, one that isn't an anagram for "onion dingo").