Sunday, March 20, 2011

Submission #11

Name: Kay Bigelow
Title: A New Woman Returns
First 250

“She’s coming our way.” Lieutenant Tai Mitchell whispered into her communicator as she spotted Svetlana Johannsen rounding the corner in front of them. Johannsen was the undercover cop acting as their decoy in this operation. “Stay alert. Paulson can’t be far away. We want him alive.”

As if the entire scene were choreographed, David Paulson stepped out of a doorway. Tai swore to herself. How long had he been there? How had he gotten past her team? He was a man of many faces, and she barely recognized this one. Tai wasn’t sure how many disguises and aliases he had, but by her last count they numbered in the hundreds.

Paulson had been killing women in her city for at least five years. The city’s women and the police department were desperate to get him off their streets and into custody. To that end, the department had assigned its best homicide detective to take him down. Tai was about to do just that.

The police had never been this close to arresting Paulson. He was a clever killer and never left any forensic evidence at his crime scenes. He had only screwed up once and they had been
able to put a name to the serial killer. This trap was elaborately laid and had taken months to execute. Tai could feel the excitement rising in her team as they watched the scene unfolding before them.


  1. I love the immediate tension here, but I think you should save the back story for later. Keep us present, right in the moment with Tai. Save the paragraph about how he's been killing women for five years for a moment when Tai can actually reflect and not in this moment when her attention is needed 100% on what's happening in front of her.

    Other than that, I think this is a great start.

  2. I think you can take this a little further and explore. You have a nice set up, but in crime novels a lot of the excitement comes from the ambiance. Is it raining, hot, cool, damp, dripping street muck in the gutter, middle of the night, daytime, what does the killer look like, does he slouch, have a telltale limp...?

    You can push this further and make it really blossom on the page.