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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at the end point of finalizing my new novel for publication this month and have been (not literally, but almost) banging my head against my desk trying to craft a blurb that doesn't suck.

It's a mystery/crime thriller set in New Orleans. It runs two parallel timelines: a current one and flashbacks to events that happened nearly 20 years ago when the three main characters were best friends in high school and something terrible happened. In the current timeline, the main character is a woman who is somewhat bipolar, who has returned to New Orleans in response to a phone call from a best friend she hadn't seen for years cryptically asking for help, only to find her friend has disappeared. The boy who had been the third point in their adolescent triangle has also returned in response to the same call -- he's an FBI agent now. The plot is the two of them trying to find their friend while discovering the truth behind the events that occurred the last time they were all together. It's nostaligic, but dark (There's murder and rape and kind of gothic machinations), and although there is some unrequited love, there's no romance (i.e. no boy gets girl). I would compare it in style and tone to the Dave Robichaux novels by James Lee Burke and the standalone novels by Carol O'Connell (Judas Child and Bone by Bone).

Here's what I've got so far and maybe I've just looked at it too much, but it sounds like drek to me.

It started with an unexpected phone call and three words: "I need you." Now, after 18 years of self-exile, Claire Brandt is back in the dark heart of New Orleans, looking for an old friend who suddenly can't be found. That doesn't stop Claire. She's a finder of lost things, from misplaced childhood memorabilia to stolen paintings to missing people. Once her plane touches down, she picks up another complication: an FBI agent she once might have loved, who has his own history with the vanished woman.
But someone else doesn't want Elodie Marchand found, and after a vicious attack, a trail of clues leads Claire deep into a gothic cityscape where a beautiful actress disappeared nearly two decades ago, where a trail of mutilated bodies led to a dead end, and where a political scandal drove powerful men to suicide.
Claire is about to discover that New Orleans is a place where the past is very much alive, and where nothing stays lost forever.
Lost Things is a taut mystery that peels away the layers of familial evil, an evocative trip through the past and present of an iconic city, and an exploration of the way our most intimate friendships can both wound us and save us.


Any help, suggestions, or rotten tomatoes would be most appreciated!
 

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I'm at work, so this is just a quick comment. I really like the atmosphere, which makes me feel I'm about to watch a tense movie. One note: my attention started to drag toward the end. The last couple of paragraphs seem to repeat the mood. Maybe tighten up the end?
 

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Me too, but I agree that this takes me into the atmosphere.  I would get rid of everything after the paragraph that ends with suicide.  Your description has already told us those things in my opinion and it just makes my mind wander.  Before that, I was extremely intrigued.
I would also tighten up the paragraph that ends with suicide.  Instead of repeating "where" and "where" and "where, change it and make it a couple of tight sentences.
 

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How about this?

It started with an unexpected phone call and three words: "I need you." Now, after 18 years of self-exile, Claire Brandt is back in the dark heart of New Orleans, looking for an old friend who has vanished. Once her plane touches down, she picks up another complication-an FBI agent she once loved has his own history with the vanished woman.

After a vicious attack, a trail of clues leads Claire deep into a gothic cityscape where a beautiful actress disappeared nearly two decades ago, a trail of mutilated bodies led to a dead end, and a political scandal drove powerful men to suicide.

Lost Things is an evocative trip through the past and present of an iconic city, a taut mystery that peels away the layers of familial evil, and an exploration of the way our most intimate friendships can both wound us and save us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I'm using all the suggestions to help tighten it up it up and make it less ramble-y. :)
 
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