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Revenge is Necessary Chapter One.

Revenge is Necessary Chapter One.

Revenge is the only emotion that will cure the serial killers sense of loss. By presenting the kills as accidents/suicides they manage to remain at large for many years.

2

Crime / Suspense / Mystery / Thriller


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G. Rosalyn West (United Kingdom)



Detective Sergeant Rosie Barnes and Detective Constable Terri Wright were waiting for the lift to take them to the fifth floor, where their witness to murder waited.
“Bloody hell Terri, we would have got there quicker if we’d used the stairs.”
Rosie walked three steps left and three steps right, hands thrust deep in her trouser pockets. Her dark blonde ponytail swayed back and forth with the rhythm of her frustrated pacing. She was tall and athletic with an air of readiness radiating from her.
Terri, was much shorter than Rosie with a solid stature that engendered a feeling of common sense and down to earth reasoning. She knew that frustration equalled wasted energy, so she kept her eyes fixed on the floor indicator, silently urging the lift to arrive,
“Do you know, this lift is taking thirty-five seconds to get from one floor to the next?”
“That’s why we should have taken the stairs.”
Rosie could feel impatience surging up in her chest and threatening to get the better of her - and Terri sensed her friend and colleague’s anxiety was about to become verbal. Keeping her voice as natural and calm as possible she said,
“True, but we’d be huffing and puffing when we talked to our Mrs Burdock – add to that a sweaty dishevelled appearance and … not a good look, don’t you agree?”
Rosie smiled,
“There are times DC Wright, when you really get up my nose.”
“Anything to oblige Sarg. You know that I will always obey my superior officers don’t you?”
Rosie’s sarcastic reply was nipped in the bud as the click-clunk of the old-fashioned lift finally made an appearance. The ancient lift doors opened to reveal a metal concertina gate. Grabbing it with both hands, Rosie jerked it to one side,
“Blimey! The last time I saw one of these, was in an old Hitchcock film.”
They both stepped cautiously into the dark wood panelled interior.

When the lift finally juddered to a halt on the fifth floor, Rosie threw back the metal gate with a little too much force, wincing as the metal crashed against the wall. Pretending it wasn’t her; she stepped out onto the carpeted landing. The girls didn’t know what to expect, but the sight of a small barrel of an agitated woman slumped on the hallway floor, was par for the course - discovering a dead body often had that effect on people. The sudden noise of metal crashing on metal brought her out of her shocked state and she raised a quivering hand,
“Thank God someone’s arrived at last,” she gasped “I can’t believe it, I really can’t. Don’t make me go back in – please don’t make me.”
Rosie moved quickly to her side, crouched down, and put her arm around Mrs Burdock’s trembling shoulders,
“It’s okay Mrs Burdock there’s no need for you to go back in there.”
The salt and pepper curls of the woman bobbed in time with her three chins as they collided with her throat.
“My name’s Rosie Barnes, Detective Sergeant Barnes and this is my colleague Terri Wright. Now, DC Wright is going to stay with you while I go into the apartment, okay?”
Mrs Burdock nodded again, tears glistening in her eyes; glad someone had arrived to take control. Rosie continued,
“You said on the phone that you found a dead body in this apartment?”
“Yes love, its Arthur Kingsward,” she said. “It’s his apartment. He’s in the bedroom. There’s so much blood it made me sick, but it’s definitely him. Who could have done such a terrible thing?”
“I understand Mrs Burdock and we will find out who did this, now before I go inside I have to ask you, did you touch anything in the flat?”
“Couldn’t help it really, I’d just had my dinner.”
“Sorry?”
“Me and my husband always have fish and chips when I’m working – saves time. Came straight back up when I saw that …”
“I see, but can you remember touching anything?”
With a flash of memory coming back Mrs Burdock was unable to continue, and screwing up her face in disgust, she started to sob uncontrollably as she shook her head. Rosie glanced at Terri who knelt down next to Mrs Burdock. Snapping on a pair of disposable gloves, Rosie gently pushed open the front door to the apartment and cast an experienced eye over the main room in front of her.
Her nose detected the faint aroma of death. Not the stench of a long dead body, but still worthy of a dab of Vick – which she always carried for occasions such as this. She smeared it sparingly on her upper lip. With the air she breathed mentholated, she could concentrate on her job. To her left was a side table with a black marble ashtray containing a set of keys. Next to the table was a carefully placed black suede briefcase. The room was spacious and very masculine, with dark leather sofas, grey and cream walls and several chrome and glass coffee tables placed around the room. At the far end, displayed artfully on a granite counter was a large number of bottles, both wine and spirit, all reflected in a mirrored wall.
In the middle of the floor, slumped drunkenly on one side, lay an upright vacuum cleaner, together with a can of spray polish, several yellow dusters and what looked like the contents of Mrs Burdocks stomach. Rosie was able to trace Mrs Burdock’s movements from the faint pinkish footprints that led away from the phone and past the dumped lunch, gradually getting deeper in colour as they reached the bedroom. The door, where the footprints were the darkest red was half open and blood was seeping underneath across the white marble tiles of the living room.
Taking a deep breath, and carefully avoiding the bloody footprints, Rosie stepped into the bedroom. The door made a soft slurping noise as it slid across the pool of blood. Even this amount of carnage couldn’t prepare her for the scene that met her eyes. Her neck went rigid with shock. Expecting to see a corpse hadn’t prepared her nearly enough. Her mouth watered and her stomach churned. With a trembling hand, she reached inside her jacket to retrieve her mobile phone and pressed speed-dial number one,
“Sorry to spoil your day off, but I think you need to be in on this one from the

start. … No sir, it can’t wait.”


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

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Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization. Could your protagonist have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals, conflicts and purpose were clearly introduced and I wanted to find out more about them.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The first page should introduce some intrigue, something that causes the reader to turn the page. Think about the conflict and tension in your story. How effectively has it been introduced?
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line and hook
  • Great books, nowadays, start with a powerful opening and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?
General comments from your fellow writer 1:
Well written and I liked the descriptions of the police officers. But somehow Mrs Burdock seemed a little strange.

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Character conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the story is heightened when the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose are clear. Perhaps giving this aspect of the story further attention could be worthwhile.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. Your story makes compelling reading.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
General comments from your fellow writer 2:
First, the story undeniably has potential. The mystery/crime genre isn't my first choice, but your first scene with the characters traveling in the elevator towards the crime scene has great tension. The tension is stifled though. Perhaps if you started the story with something like, "We should have taken the stairs," and then delved into the scenery, the hook might be deep enough to hold the reader for a couple sentences at that point. Secondly, passive verbs are killing the story. Consider this: the following is your introductory scene written only in action verbs and minimized details, with the previous recommendation included: "We should have taken the stairs." Detective Barnes and Wright waited for the lift to take them to the fifth floor, where their witness to murder waited. Impatience burned in Barnes chest. The hook is set, the flow tightened, and the only thing sacrificed is the gender of Barnes. You're competing with every first sentence in the bookstore, so it has to count. Exceptional things in your story that sucked me into the story: the tension in the elevator, the "ancient lift doors," and the agitated woman they found. Lots of passive sentence structures distracted from this though. If you can focus the story on those three elements, I think you'll find more agent interest (assuming you're interested in that sort of thing and under 90,000 words)

Review 3:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
General comments from your fellow writer 3:
Good writing and some compelling description. I would perhaps cut down the description of the characters at the beginning; you can flesh these out later. What's important is to cut to the chase. I understand that you're trying to draw out the suspense but you don't need to labour the point.