Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why John Hart's The Last Child Is My Comp.




Lots of reasons. First, his story revolves around a missing girl—Johnny Merrimon’s twin sister. Mine does too—three-year-old Melody Miller. While his missing person has been gone a year at the book’s open, my prologue features the kidnapping. Yes, my prologue does not suck! Something actually happens in it.

What I love about The Last Child is the number of plot twists and turns. And the ending! I did not see that coming. Hart did a masterful job. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but he goes beyond red herring characters into another dimension—a red herring plot. If you love thrillers, read this one. You will be very happy.

At the outset, my book reads like a typical kidnapping investigation—as if such a thing exists. Then the main suspect, the father, dies in a car bombing and the specter of terrorism comes in. This is my red herring plot, but I’ll stop here—don’t want to give too much away.

As I read The Last Child in great gulps over two days, this scene grabbed my attention:

The Chief studied the dense growth. “Give us a minute.” His assistants melted away. “You, too, Yoakum.”
“Me? Hand on his chest. Eyes shocked.
“Get lost.”
Yoakum got behind the Chief before he started goose-stepping, but Hunt was in no mood for humor.

Now here’s my version, written years before The Last Child was published. Pinky-swear!

Luke and Eddie both recognized the signs. Eyes narrowing to slits, both hands clenching and unclenching as Lieutenant Cavanaugh pushed his six-foot-three-inch frame up and down on his toes like an impatient ballerina. Up, down, up, down. From his left hand swung a sealed bag holding something pink.
“Detectives Frawley and Sikes. How nice of you to join us. Sikes, how close are we to entering Melody into NCIC’s database?”
“We’ve got the descriptive and medical, just waiting on the dental.”
“Okay, let me know when that’s done. Would you excuse Frawley and me for a moment? We need to have a word.”
“Of course, Lieutenant,” said Eddie, mimicking Cavanaugh’s tone. As he walked behind Cavanaugh he pushed up on his toes three times in rapid succession. Luke bit back a smile.

Mr. Hart, we seem to be on the same wavelength. Spooky!

6 comments:

  1. That's funny! Sometimes I come across scenes that resemble my own too but I try not to let it get to me. Great minds!:)

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  2. AHhh.. I hate it when that happens! But your own writing is unique, so don't fret too much.

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