Friday, October 25, 2013

NOQS: OBLIVIOUS, Adult Thriller/Detective Fiction

Genre: Adult Thriller/Detective Fiction 
Word Count: 90,000

My Main Character’s Greatest Fear:

When I get off work and Abby’s asleep, I like to stand in the doorway and watch her chest rise and fall. It doesn’t matter if I’ve handled a triple homicide or nearly been shot in the hours preceding this, because I’ve been numb to those things for years. But there’s no numbing myself up to the thought that I could lose her any day to her mental illness—and the ever-changing pharmacy we have in the house—and won’t be able to get her back.


Homicide detective Jack Easley was eight years old when he found his sister, Cara, on her bedroom floor. Her case was ruled a cut-and-dried suicide. At least, that’s what his family still tells him.

These days find Jack coping by working every case he can get his hands on—and finding closure for everyone but himself in the process—though this only exacerbates the PTSD of his wife, Abby. With the twentieth anniversary of his sister’s death fast approaching, his latest assignment is no exception—until he finds himself streets over from where Cara died.

He is immediately drawn to the search for the victim’s daughter, abducted in 1998. But when her body shows up on his lawn and a business card left on his cruiser leads him to a detective who died shortly after closing Cara’s case, Jack turns to his sister’s file for direction, touching on a department cover-up that could claim roots in his own family. But there are holes in the timeline and evidence, and the body count keeps climbing the more he probes. In a last-ditch effort, he confronts his family about his sister, but the answers he gets aren’t just about Cara.

They’re about him, too.

As the daughter of a veteran police officer, I am affected by the work my father does every day, and I believe this allows me to bring a perspective and authenticity to my genre that is unique to the families of those who carry the badge.

OBLIVIOUS is a thriller complete at approximately 90,000 words.

First 250 words:I leaned against the Plexiglas divider of our lane, watching Abby empty magazines with no fear.

She knew exactly how to turn me on.

The safety glasses kept slipping, the earmuffs dwarfing her head, but the confidence fit like a glove; by the time a spent mag hit the floor, she’d already clicked a new one in, racked and fired.

Here, she couldn’t falter, and I liked that, but being here also did for her what the meds couldn’t, and I liked that more.

My Glock therapy was promising.

All her shots center mass, I gave her a thumbs-up. She rolled her eyes, changing the targets and giving my shoulder a sympathetic pat before I took my place on the line.

I was halfway through the set when my phone vibrated against my hip. Holstering on instinct, I picked up as I shouldered my way through the door, my partner’s number on the screen. The brass bell went off behind me, then again as Abby followed.

“Nick,” I said, crossing the lot to my unmarked, pulling at my earplugs. “What’s up?”

“—one hot off the presses,” I heard. “Where are you?”

“Doesn’t matter,” I said, reaching for the door of the Crown Vic. “Where’s it at?”

“It’s twenty-six Hawkins, in the Silver Terrace development.”

“I’ll be there,” I said, Abby watching me over the hood as I put my phone away.

She squinted in the sun. “You’re leaving.”

Watching me fish the duty ammo from my pocket was more than enough confirmation.

Therapy was over.


  1. SHRIEK! What a great opening. (Pages, query and synopsis can be sent to emily (at) with Nightmare Query in the subject line.)

  2. Shriek! Please send to queryroseanne at gmail with Nightmare query in the subject line. Thanks!