The Spoils of War –
In Editing Hell for the past several weeks, I’m roughly three-quarters of the way through the first full edit, constantly reminding myself it WILL be worth it.
So far, so good.
Cut-Throat Syndrome, the fourth book in the Lance Underphal Mystery series, polishes up nicely. Busy fine-tuning its cross-genre premise, I’m witnessing the emergence of a very different animal. This little tale winds its way through the Dark Web, hacking, terrorism, and the CIA, while still heavily relying on its paranormal murder mystery roots.
Stay tuned for the release.
From a late chapter, we join the abduction in progress:
The CIA operative’s dormant townhouse explodes in spastic fits of fiery cannonade, its dark windows flaring with muzzle flash, its security system honking in the still night air. Staccato bursts of automatic weapon fire roar across manicured lawns, rousting neighbors from their evening stupors, their windows lighting with alarm, their phones pulsing with panicky 911 calls, their tranquility ruptured by chaos.
Stray rounds erupt from shattering panes to whine angrily into the darkness, setting off car alarms, pinging off light poles, powdering red brick on impact. One slug ricochets off a perimeter wall; another buries itself in the rough bark of a roadside Douglas fir; another punches through the driver’s-side window of a silver Accord out on the boulevard, burrowing into the temple of a twenty-nine-year-old white male, horrifying his skittish date as his body spastically jerks, his bloody skull dropping into her lap—collateral damage.
Time slows to a crawl, endless seconds creeping by when violence suddenly dies. Vacant windows go dark, the crackling pops of gunfire silenced. Wisps of white smoke and the acrid stench of cordite leak between jagged shards of glass. Frantic residents whisper their horror as they hide in closets and crouch behind couches, terrified.
Long before emergency responders arrive and the morbidly curious gather in throngs at the crime scene tape, dark figures emerge from the backyard gate, dragging a limp form through the shadows to disappear among the vehicles parked in the delivery area.
Copyright © 2014 by Michael Allan Scott, all rights reserved.
As I approach the end of this first edit, I’m reminded there’s more to do. I won’t have it exactly the way I want until the final edit—somewhere around version ten, or twelve. YIKES!
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For more on Michael Allan Scott, the mystery writer and the Lance Underphal mystery series, go to michaelallanscott.com
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