An excerpt from a future novel

25Feb13

I have a respectful request to any interested parties today. This post isn’t an opinion piece, cop story or war story. It’s an excerpt from the second novel in my series. I wrote the scene, pulled it out, and now I’m not sure whether it should be in or out. If you’re so inclined, please take a look and give me honest feedback. My writing has been helped tremendously by people willing to read, point out flaws and give me good direction. As a new writer I probably made every mistake there was to make, and if my writing is any good now it’s because avid readers and experienced writers helped me along.

Thanks and I hope to hear some feedback, even from people who think this sucks. :)

Backstory: Jerry Nunez, the protagonist from my novel Proof of Our Resolve, is an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, and a cop. He’s on patrol with a new officer named Mike Woods, gets a phone call and pulls into an abandoned porn shop parking lot. The caller informs him that his best friend was just killed on his second tour in Iraq. This is part of my second novel, Safe From The War.

Nunez hung up, folded the phone closed and put it back into its case. He leaned back and closed his eyes, clasped his hands together in front of his face and tapped his upper lip with his knuckles. Woods watched a single tear run down from the corner of his right eye down his face.

“I just talked to him,” Nunez said. “I just talked to him, less than a week ago. He was fine.”

Nunez shook again as a sob escaped, shuddered again from a second. Then he couldn’t hold it anymore and exploded into tears. He leaned forward and covered his face with his hands so Woods wouldn’t see it. Woods wondered if he should say something or maybe reach out and touch Nunez, but held back. He didn’t know how Nunez would react.

Nunez cried openly for less than a minute before getting himself back under some control. He choked off sobs and wiped tears from his eyes, said something into his hands that Woods couldn’t make out. The front seat settled into uncomfortable silence.

Woods’ window was down slightly. Outside the car he thought he heard the sound of glass breaking. He looked out but couldn’t see past overgrown brush bordering the parking lot. Up ahead he could see the lights and the roof of the gas station they had been heading toward, but brush blocked his view of the station itself.

A single gunshot rang out from the gas station. Woods looked toward the station in alarm, not able to see a thing. He turned to Nunez. No reaction at all.

Bang! Bang! Two more shots were fired at the station. To Woods’ left Nunez sighed. Woods saw that Nunez had uncovered his face, but held his forehead in his hands like he had a headache.

“Jerry!” Woods blurted.

“I don’t care,” Nunez said.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Three more shots. Two seconds later another two followed in quick succession, mixed with a woman’s shrill scream.

“Jerry, something’s going on at the gas station!”

Nunez exploded, “I don’t give a fuck!”

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! This time the sound was more rapid and much louder, like a large caliber semi-auto rifle fired at max rate.

“Shit Jerry, come on!”

Nunez peeled out of the parking lot onto West Gulf Bank road as he wiped tears from his eyes. Woods heard tires screeching and saw a large cloud of black smoke at the gas station. A burgundy Chevy Tahoe tore out of the side of the parking lot, fishtailed as it bounced over a curb onto the service road and headed north. As they flew past the gas station, Woods saw shattered windows and people lying near the gas pumps.

Nunez flew around the corner, grabbed the radio and said “1243 dispatch, emergency traffic. In pursuit of a burgundy Chevy Tahoe heading north on the north freeway service road from West Gulf Bank, suspect just fired several shots at the gas station on the service road. Break.”

The patrol car burst through the burned-rubber smoke. Woods saw the Tahoe passing cars almost two hundred yards ahead.

Nunez keyed up again. “I need backup units with spikes, and I need someone to get to that gas station to see if anyone’s been shot. All units be advised, I think this guy’s got an assault rifle. Dispatch, start Fox and K9.”

Nunez tossed the mike to Woods and said “Call it.” Woods took the mike and reached for the overhead lights and siren switches. Nunez stopped him, saying “Not yet, he might not know we’re back here, wait til we get on him.” Their car’s engine revved to high pitch as they accelerated to over 100 miles per hour.

“Oh shit, oh shit,” Woods said, his voice high. “What do I do if he shoots at us?”

Ahead of them, the Tahoe shot across the service road and hit the freeway entrance ramp. The service road was dark and the highway well lit. If the suspect didn’t know police were behind him, he was about to find out.

Nunez had the car floored. It accelerated as they shot up the ramp onto the freeway. Traffic on Houston’s highways, even at one a.m. on a Sunday morning, was as heavy as some smaller cities’ traffic at rush hour. The Tahoe weaved around cars in its path as the driver tried to reach the fast lane.

“Tell them we just got on the freeway north of Gulf Bank,” Nunez ordered.

“1243 dispatch 1243 dispatch, we just got onto the service road – I mean, onto the highway, headed north from Gulf Bank!”

“1243 clear, do you have a plate?” dispatch asked.

Woods moved his head side to side, foolishly trying to read the plate on a speeding vehicle several car lengths ahead and weaving through traffic.

“Negative dispatch, we can’t see it yet.”

“If he shoots at us, shoot back,” Nunez said.

“Got it,” Woods said, drawing his weapon.

“Put your fucking pistol away!” Nunez ordered. “If we get into a wreck you’ll lose it. You’ll have plenty of time to draw if you need to. Tell dispatch we’re about to pass West road.”

Woods quickly reholstered the pistol while he spoke into the mike, “Still north on the north freeway, passing West road!”

Nunez caught up to the Tahoe but stayed about two car lengths back. He straddled the stripe dividing the fast lane from the lane to its right, to give himself more reaction time if the driver suddenly swerved right to exit the freeway. The Tahoe, which had been doing about 110, sped up to over 120.

“They know we’re here, hit the lights and siren,” Nunez said. Woods hit the switches. The overheads flashed to life and siren screamed out a warning. Woods squinted at the plate, keyed the radio and called it out to dispatch.

The windows of the Tahoe were tinted dark black. Woods couldn’t see how many people were inside it. The driver of the Tahoe jerked right, almost sideswiping a Honda. In a flash Nunez glanced at a side mirror, swerved around the Honda and got behind the Tahoe again. Up ahead, a patrol car on the service road charged toward the freeway entrance ramp to jump into the pursuit.

“Dispatch 1243, that vehicle was taken in an aggravated robbery in South Central’s area during evening shift. Suspects shot at the complainant. Do you copy?”

Nunez nodded and Woods said, “Clear, we copy. Any word on helicopter support?”

“Fox is en route from Northeast’s area, they’re close. Also, we’re receiving calls about a robbery with shots fired at Gulf Bank and the North freeway,” Dispatch said.

“Find out a suspect description, how many suspects, weapons, anything,” Nunez said to Woods.

The Tahoe suddenly shot right again, cut across three lanes, drove over the shoulder and flew over a flat patch of grass. It bounced over the curb onto the service road behind the backup police car, which was already on the entrance ramp.

“Fuck!” Nunez yelled. He took a tenth of a second to make sure he was clear before shooting across the highway and flying off the curb behind the Tahoe. Woods tensed as they banked almost sideways in front of all the traffic coming at them at 70 plus miles per hour.

The patrol car hit the service road at an angle, slid almost into the far curb and forced a pickup to slam on the brakes. “Tell dispatch he just got back onto the service road, northbound approaching the beltway!”

“1243 dispatch, he’s back on the service road, northbound toward the beltway! He just drove off the side of the highway!” Woods yelled.

“Calm down and quit yelling on the fucking radio,” Nunez said as he straightened out the car. “People won’t understand you if you scream.”

The stretch of road between the Tahoe and the Beltway, a huge loop around the city, was empty of side streets. The Tahoe approached a large, busy intersection. Vehicles were stopped in each of the three lanes of the service road. The driver of the Tahoe braked and hit the right side curb.

Woods held the microphone to his lips, waiting to tell everyone where the suspect vehicle would go.



57 Responses to “An excerpt from a future novel”

  1. 1 Cort

    D: I need more! This is good! Seriously though, don’t cut it out. It’s well written, and even if you don’t feel that it’s 100% necessary to the story, sometimes it’s nice to add something to the story. I can’t think of a single good piece of literature that didn’t add something extra that shouldn’t have been there.

    • Cort,

      I think I’m going to shorten the entire piece from its original length, but put it back in. It’s hard to find that balance between sticking to the plot and adding the little unnecessary touches that people like to read. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

      Chris

  2. You’ve heard this before. I told you that is your best writing. Don’t fuck with it. Gt it out there. That is all. MBM

  3. 5 Hal Davey

    Re; novel fragment. Nice writing, gritty and great dialog. Good flow.
    I like it. Try what a bunch of other writers are doing; sell chapters on Kindle for $0.99 each and you make more than if you wait and publish the entire novel.
    BTW a good place to go for plotting is

    http://www.blakesnyder.com/2010/09/17/the-last-novel-writing-book-you%E2%80%99ll-ever-need/

    Cheers,

  4. 7 steve ronin

    shades of my FTO lecturing me about radio procedure….
    and not overusing the L/S.
    however, don’t forget about the bad-luck squad car.
    there’s one in every pursuit.
    cheap tires, bad tranny, poorly maintained engines, etc.
    all to save budget money…

    • Yup. I had the bad luck car more than once, and I’ve done more than my fair share of shrieking like a little girl on the radio.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

      Chris

  5. 9 mike

    i agree with hal- don’t fuck with it

  6. 11 WmTell

    I liked it as well. First time finding this blog (followed the link from Tam) but I’ll be a regular visitor now – and I’ll probably have to buy your first book if it’s even close to as good as this bit was.

    • 12 Marilyn Pfaff

      WmTell — Chris’ first book is excellent. I highly recommend it!! I also recommend you allow plenty of time before you begin reading — you will not want to put it down — trust me!!

    • Wm,

      Glad you liked it, and if you do buy my book please feel free to leave an honest review. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

      Chris

  7. 15 Marilyn Pfaff

    I want more!! Don’t leave us hanging!! How did it end??? Arrrghhhh!!!!!

    Seriously — I don’t know if it needs to be in the book or not, not having read the whole book. But it’s good writing — kept me on the edge of my seat — and had me going, “hey!! where’s the rest of it!!” when I got to the break.

    • Marilyn, the only thing I can tell you is that Jerry doesn’t die, which is why I have a book 3. Gotta keep the suspense up so people will want to buy it. :)

      Chris

  8. 17 6B45N

    Excellent! Not that I can dish out much advice, but I’d lose the 1243, and use 6b45.

    • I’m trying not to get too far into actual procedures. But remember, the officer in the story who gets busted for patronizing male crack whores is named Lyle Smithers in your honor.

      Chris

  9. As someone on Reddit said once, QUIT YOUR JOB AND ENTERTAIN ME!

    Yes, I want to know how it ends….

    • Man, if I could quit my job and retire from the military to write full time, I’d be the happiest ex-cop/ex-soldier you’ve ever met.

      The ending is a secret. But I can tell you that the German tank doesn’t run over the candy truck.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

      Chris

  10. 21 Aesop

    Leave it alone.
    Write more of it.
    Some writers have, and some don’t.

    You’ve got it. Keep typing.

  11. 24 Aesop

    And since I forgot to append this to other entries,
    “Semper Fi, Devil Dog!”

  12. 26 Brian

    Hey Chris. All my edits have a X on each side of them. I edited all my wife’s papers from her Bachelors through her Doctorate and this seemed to work best for her, finding edits can be tough for the author!

    I tried to honor your style of writing and not change things, just glitches and typos.

    Holy smokes, I about wet my pants when the cops left the freeway! Good story, I’ll have to get your first book.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Back X-X story: Jerry Nunez, the protagonist from my novel Proof of Our Resolve, is an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, and a cop. He’s on patrol with a new officer named Mike Woods, X when he X gets a phone call and pulls into an abandoned porn shop parking lot. The caller informs him that his best friend was just killed on his second tour in Iraq. This is part of my second novel, Safe From The War.

    Nunez hung up, folded the phone closed and put it back into its case. He leaned back and closed his eyes, clasped his hands together in front of his face and tapped his upper lip with his knuckles. Woods watched a single tear run down from the corner of X Nunez’s X right eye X on X down his face.

    “I just talked to him,” Nunez said. “I just talked to him, less than a week ago. He was fine.”

    Nunez shook again as a sob escaped, shuddered again X for X a second. Then he couldn’t hold it anymore and exploded into tears. He leaned forward and covered his face with his hands so Woods wouldn’t see it. Woods wondered if he should say something or maybe reach out and touch Nunez, but held back. He didn’t know how Nunez would react.

    Nunez cried openly for less than a minute before getting himself back under some control. He choked off sobs and wiped tears from his eyes, said something into his hands that Woods couldn’t make out. The front seat settled into uncomfortable silence.

    Woods’ window was down slightly. Outside the car he thought he heard the sound of glass breaking. He looked out but couldn’t see past overgrown brush bordering the parking lot. Up ahead he could see the lights and the roof of the gas station they had been heading toward, but brush blocked his view of the station itself.

    A single gunshot rang out from the gas station. Woods looked toward the station in alarm, not able to see a thing. He turned to Nunez. No reaction at all.

    Bang! Bang! Two more shots were fired at the station. To Woods’ left Nunez sighed. Woods saw that Nunez had uncovered his face, but held his forehead in his hands like he had a headache.

    “Jerry!” Woods blurted.

    “I don’t care,” Nunez said.

    Bang! Bang! Bang! Three more shots. Two seconds later another two followed in quick succession, mixed with a woman’s shrill scream.

    “Jerry, something’s going on at the gas station!”

    Nunez exploded, “I don’t give a fuck!”

    BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! This time the sound was more rapid and much louder, like a large caliber semi-auto rifle fired at max rate.

    “Shit Jerry, come on!”

    Nunez peeled out of the parking lot onto West Gulf Bank road as he wiped tears from his eyes. Woods heard tires screeching and saw a large cloud of black smoke at the gas station. A burgundy Chevy Tahoe tore out of the side of the parking lot, fishtailed as it bounced over a curb onto the service road and headed north. As they flew past the gas station, Woods saw shattered windows and people lying near the gas pumps.

    Nunez flew around the corner, grabbed the radio and said “1243 dispatch, emergency traffic. In pursuit of a burgundy Chevy Tahoe heading north on the north freeway service road from West Gulf Bank, suspect just fired several shots at the gas station on the service road. Break.”

    The patrol car burst through the burned-rubber smoke. Woods saw the Tahoe passing cars almost two hundred yards ahead.

    Nunez keyed up again. “I need backup units with spikes, and I need someone to get to that gas station to see if anyone’s been shot. All units be advised, I think this guy’s got an assault rifle. Dispatch, start Fox and K9.”

    Nunez tossed the mike to Woods and said “Call it.” Woods took the mike and reached for the overhead lights and siren switches. Nunez stopped him, saying “Not yet, he might not know we’re back here, wait X till X we get on him.” Their car’s engine revved to high pitch as they accelerated to over 100 miles per hour.

    “Oh shit, oh shit,” Woods said, his voice high. “What do I do if he shoots at us?”

    Ahead of them, the Tahoe shot across the service road and hit the freeway entrance ramp. The service road was dark and the highway well lit. If the suspect didn’t know police were behind him, he was about to find out.

    Nunez had the car floored. It accelerated as they shot up the ramp onto the freeway. Traffic on Houston’s highways, even at one a.m. on a Sunday morning, was as heavy as some smaller cities’ traffic at rush hour. The Tahoe weaved around cars in its path as the driver tried to reach the fast lane.

    “Tell them we just got on the freeway north of Gulf Bank,” Nunez ordered.

    “1243 dispatch 1243 dispatch, we just got onto the service road – I mean, onto the highway, headed north from Gulf Bank!”

    “1243 clear, do you have a plate?” dispatch asked.

    Woods moved his head side to side, foolishly trying to read the plate on a speeding vehicle several car lengths ahead and weaving through traffic.

    “Negative dispatch, we can’t see it yet.”

    “If he shoots at us, shoot back,” Nunez said.

    “Got it,” Woods said, drawing his weapon.

    “Put your fucking pistol away!” Nunez ordered. “If we get into a wreck you’ll lose it. You’ll have plenty of time to draw if you need to. Tell dispatch we’re about to pass West road.”

    Woods quickly reholstered the pistol while he spoke into the mike, “Still north on the north freeway, passing West road!”

    Nunez caught up to the Tahoe but stayed about two car lengths back. He straddled the stripe dividing the fast lane from the lane to its right, to give himself more reaction time if the driver suddenly swerved right to exit the freeway. The Tahoe, which had been doing about 110, sped up to over 120.

    “They know we’re here, hit the lights and siren,” Nunez said. Woods hit the switches. The overheads flashed to life and siren screamed out a warning. Woods squinted at the plate, keyed the radio and called it X out [in?] X to dispatch.

    The windows of the Tahoe were tinted dark black. Woods couldn’t see how many people were inside it. The driver of the Tahoe jerked right, almost sideswiping a Honda. In a flash Nunez glanced at a side mirror, swerved around the Honda and got behind the Tahoe again. Up ahead, a patrol car on the service road charged toward the freeway entrance ramp to jump into the pursuit.

    “Dispatch 1243, that vehicle was taken in an aggravated robbery in South Central’s area during evening shift. Suspects shot at the complainant. Do you copy?”

    Nunez nodded and Woods said, “Clear, we copy. Any word on helicopter support?”

    “Fox is en route from Northeast’s area, they’re close. Also, we’re receiving calls about a robbery with shots fired at Gulf Bank and the North freeway,” Dispatch said.

    Find out X about X suspect description, how many suspects, weapons, anything,” Nunez said to Woods.

    The Tahoe suddenly shot right again, cut across three lanes, drove over the shoulder and flew over a flat patch of grass. It bounced over the curb onto the service road behind the backup police car, which was already on the entrance ramp.

    “Fuck!” Nunez yelled. He took a tenth of a second to make sure he was clear before shooting across the highway and flying off the curb behind the Tahoe. Woods tensed as they banked almost sideways in front of all the traffic coming at them at 70 plus miles per hour.

    The patrol car hit the service road at an angle, slid almost into the far curb and forced a pickup to slam on the brakes. “Tell dispatch he just got back onto the service road, northbound approaching the beltway!”

    “1243 dispatch, he’s back on the service road, northbound toward the beltway! He just drove off the side of the highway!” Woods yelled.

    “Calm down and quit yelling on the fucking radio,” Nunez said as he straightened out the car. “People won’t understand you if you scream.”

    The stretch of road between the Tahoe and the Beltway, a huge loop around the city, was empty of side streets. The Tahoe approached a large, busy intersection. Vehicles were stopped in each of the three lanes of the service road. The driver of the Tahoe braked and hit the right side curb.

    Woods held the microphone to his lips, waiting to tell everyone where the suspect vehicle would go.

    • Brian,

      Got you on the edits, thanks. I write the way we talk on the street, which doesn’t always translate well onto the page. And it can’t be 100% technically correct if it confuses the reader, I have to make it palatable to people without LE experience.

      Glad to hear you had an anxiety attack when they went off the highway. It’s kind of exciting in real life too. :)

      Thanks again, I appreciate your comments.

      Chris

  13. 28 Matt

    Fellow writer here. Since you say you’re editing, I assume this isn’t your first draft? I’ve always thought and been taught put everything in the first draft, then go back and add, remove, edit.

    If you are editing, as yourself: what does this scene add? Can the death of Nunez’s friend be revealed in a different way? Is the point that Nunez compartmentalizes quickly and gets on with the job? Will this add to Woods’ character? Is there something or someone in the Tahoe that will advance the story?

    I’m sure you know less is more, and everything that can come out of the book should. It’s a nice slice of cop life piece, but too many digressions can bog a book down.

    You don’t know me from Adam, but I’d be happy to be a beta reader for you. Maybe you can return the favor sometime.

    Matt
    St Paul
    @1077idaho

    • Matt,

      The compartmentalizing is a key ingredient to that excerpt. It does show something important about Nunez’s character, and about Woods. But it MIGHT be an unnecessary digression from the plot. I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping.

      This is about the 50th revision of this draft, and even so, I was still making revisions when I posted it here. The first draft was finished three years ago, been kicking it around and mutating it since then.

      I’ll get back with you about being a beta reader. I have several, and their feedback has been tremendously valuable. Thanks for reading and commenting, and for the offer.

      Chris

  14. Like Matt, I assume the ability to compartmentalize is the point for linking the story of the death of Nunez’ friend and the chase story. But it feels rather disjunct to me. I’d like some more integration of the two, maybe little flashbacks during the chase scene (I’d go for parataxis to illustrate the emotion, and intersperse scene description with thoughts about the loss – then again, I am no writer).

    The chase scene itself is written really good.

    The grief scene before… I don’t know. Maybe it is just too much external description, maybe I just roll my eyes when I read ‘a single tear’ anywhere.

    • Tobias,

      got you. I’ve been justifiably accused of adding too much drama to certain scenes, but I wasn’t sure how to capture it without the tear. Then again, Jerry burst out crying, so maybe that’s enough.

      Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

      Chris

  15. 32 Scott Timmons

    Chris,
    I’m new to your blog (came over on a tip from Tam) and am already hooked after a few days. I’m going to send a link to your Jan 2013 post on armed teachers to my brother to illustrate the same topic we had in a long conversation at Christmas. You said it better than I could.
    Regarding the excerpt, the cop in me (34 years and counting)) says “oh, yeah, been there, ” meaning you hit the nail on the head. The reader in me (fifty years and counting) says “gimme more! ” I loved Proof of our Resolve and anxiously await the new book. As for suitability of the excerpt, if the story is mainly about Iraq /Afghanistan then it may be extraneous. On the other hand, if the main storyline is about Nunez ‘ transition back to civilian life then it definitely belongs. I’m hoping you will be addressing the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life at some point. Several of my young officers over the years have had difficulty with the transition.
    If you decide not to keep the section in, I’d suggest saving it for future use (with appropriate mods) in a cop book.

    I’d also suggest you think long and hard before you go the route of selling chapters individually. I think you will lose some readers as they wait for the next chapter but get distracted by someone else’s product. If money is the issue, raise the price.

    Keep up the good work and be safe.

    • Scott,

      thanks for the feedback, and to answer your question that excerpt is from a cop book. It’s the story of Nunez’s life a year after he came home from Afghanistan, and revolves around a planned terrorist attack by a homegrown, unaffiliated cell. But the chase itself isn’t connected to the attack, so I just may not need it. Which sucks, because I really like it.

      If you don’t mind, please drop a review of Proof of Our Resolve on whatever venue you bought it. I’m always looking for honest feedback to help me make improvements for future writing.

      I also don’t like the idea of selling individual chapters. Maybe it’s just a gut feeling, but it feels like a gimmick, and one that would only work with well-known, establshed authors. But I could be wrong, maybe it’s the new way to sell books.

      Thanks for the comments, and stay safe out there.

      Chris

      • New reader here with Proof of Our Resolve on the Kindle waiting to be read. My vote: Keep this. While it may not advance the main plot line, it mimics real life. Things — sometimes big, ugly things — crop up from time to time while you’re trying to deal with the stuff you’ve already got on your plate. Life is full of distractions, and this one is well-written and fun to read. You could plop it down right in the middle of Jerry’s main-storyline problem as a life-gets-in-the-way distraction, or use it as an early-chapter bit of character development.

  16. 35 SPEMack

    Chris,
    Having never read any of your stuff before being linked to your blog, I was drawn in by this excrept. Good stuff. I liked it and would most certainly buy any upcoming books of your’s in addition to what you have already written. You touched on it a little bit in your book reviews, but this country is in desperate need of someone with a Combat MOS who was there to write it as it was, not Vietnam in the desert with DCUs instead of tiger stripe fatigues.

    • Good to hear that Mack. Please drop a review if you bought Proof of Our Resolve. I want the book to appeal to a mass audience, but the people I really have to impress are the guys who were there and know what’s real and what’s not.

      Chris

  17. Hey Chris, I think if you decide to keep this (per other’s comments you have to decide what it adds to the story) you could certainly tighten it up with a good copy edit. There are some redundant sentences, descriptions, and some instances of head hopping to fix.

    Nothing major, but if you can go in and clean up sentence structure it will make the scene even more gripping and exciting. As far as the head hopping goes, we’re in Jerry’s POV, but in the third paragraph, it says “Woods wondered….etc”. We can’t know that unless you’re telling the story from omniscient 3rd person. :) You’re in 3rd person limited here.

    But like I’ve said in previous comments, you know how to tell a story. :) I think I’d read a post from you about shopping for eggs or cutting the grass. Have someone go through this and give it a good trim for you to tighten stuff up and make sure you stay in the correct POV and you’re golden.

    • Jennifer,

      Who’s got two thumbs and is repetitive and wordy? This guy right here, that’s who! You’re right that I can use some copy editing, I’ll have to take a look and see what I can remove.

      As far as what it adds to the story, well…it’s just a cool chase scene and I like it. I’m sentimental and hate throwing good stuff away. Dang me!

      I was surprised that it seemed to you to be Nunez’s POV. I intended it to be Woods’ POV. Are you sure it seems like you’re in Nunez’s head?

      Thanks Jen, and please come back anytime. I appreciate the advice.

      Chris

  18. 39 Prcek

    Hi, from Europe
    My English is far far away from perfect, I had to use dictionary in few cases, but it worth it. I was agog all the time and I`m sad for don`t knowing how it continue. I don`t know about other parts of this novel but if they are similar hope all novel is not too long. Way what is this written does not give me chance to stop reading until end. — hope it is understandable –

    • Prcek,

      I understand and believe me, your English is better than my Czech, so no need to apologize. Thank you for your comments, and I’m happy you enjoyed the excerpt. Do you know anyone who would want to translate the book into Czech?

      Chris

      P.S. In my book Proof of Our Resolve, one of the characters is named Vlacek and the other soldiers call him Czech. We have a huge Czech community in Texas.

  19. 41 Unit45

    Only on TV would Police Officers drive past “people lying near the gas pumps” after shots fired without checking for wounded.

    • Absolutely not true. In those situations we have to make a snap judgement; chase the suspect, or check on victims. As Scott Timmons pointed out, we’re not EMTs, we don’t carry medical gear. If we stop and find injured people, we can’t do much more than call for help. I can do that from my car as I’m chasing the suspect.

      I’d guess you’re not a cop, but not sure based on your “Unit45″ screen name. Do you have any LE experience? No problem if you don’t, I’m just curious what you based that comment on.

      Chris

  20. 43 Scott Timmons

    @Unit 45,
    As a long serving police officer, I think you need to think this situatiion over before making a hasty judgement. The officers are trained and equipped for law enforcement (read apprehension of the bad guys) not generally for EMT work. It is a much more efficient use of the resource for the officers to radio that medical help and other units are needed at the gas station while they pursue the suspected shooters. this allows the ambulance and other medical personnel (fire/rescue, etc) to be dispatched to aid the injured as well as sending the appropriate investigative units while still maintaining the best chance for the identification and capture of the shooters. In most Department’s(mine included) the officers do not have extensive medical training or equipment and would , in this scenario, end up controlling the crime scene (to ppreserve eviden) and simply watch the EMT/paramedics go about their work.
    Any law enforcement officer will tell you that the best chance for conviction comes from the wrong doer being caught at the scene or fleeing from it with all of the ancillary evidence that goes with such an arrest (recovery of the firearm, trace evidence on the suspect, greater likelihood of the suspect or an accomplice giving a full and complete incriminating statement, etc.)

  21. 44 Scott Timmons

    @Unit45 continued …(bumped the send button before I could finish and edit. Please excuse the misspellings above.)

    To finish my thought, resonses by folks like Unit 45 that shoot from the hip without thinking the circumstances through are some of the major reasons many people dont post on the internet. Everyone is an expert and everyone’s voice is heard just as loudly, whether their comments justify that or not.

  22. 45 Tass

    A+! As a Houstonian (well, in the neighborhood) and former co-worker of a local LEO dept I appreciate the Houston setting, although as an Aggie the Tahoe should be Maroon and not burgundy! Will be doing some Amazon shopping for book 1!

  23. 49 Gene (Aggie, Class of '70)

    Chris,

    As an ex-Houstonian of 40 yrs, I appreciate the geographical details. They flesh out and intensify my experience of your story. Secondly, I NEED MORE. Stay safe!

    PS: The Tahoe SHOULD be MAROON and WHITE! ;>)

    • Gene,

      you’re the 2nd reader to ask for Aggie colors on the Tahoe. That is easily remedied. Thanks for the comments.

      And by the way, my unit held Aggie Muster Day in Iraq in 2005.

      Chris

  24. Chris, all I can tell you is that it is real to me. It reminds me of the night my first mentor, who was assigned to the same shift as me, was killed putting out stop strips during a high speed pursuit. We still had several hours to go before our shift ended and it was some of the hardest hours to have to work, continuing to answer calls as though nothing happened. The bad guys ended up being caught and we found out later that he’d been struck by a patrol car from a neighboring county where the chase started.
    I still miss him and honor him even all these years later. He was the first to welcome a female deputy as a professional into the shift during years that it was not acceptable to do so.

    • Glad the story felt real to you, Juli. I’ve made this comment about my war writing, and it applies to my cops fiction as well: I want it to appeal to everyone, but the people I really need to impress are the ones who have been there and know what’s real and what’s fake.

      Sorry to hear about your mentor. I’ve been on duty when a couple of officers were killed, that’s a bad, bad day. On one of those occasions I helped with the arrests of the suspects who murdered him. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was transport the guy who actually pulled the trigger. I had to not piss him off during the ride, and we spent about 15 minutes talking about his tattoos and girlfriends. This was hours after he murdered an off-duty officer during a robbery.

      Did the officer who hit him come out okay? Obviously I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know things can get totally sideways during pursuits, and good guys trying to do the right thing can make tragic mistakes.

      • I never got to meet the officer who actually hit him, though I believe it hit him hard. At the time, I wasn’t too forgiving,initially anyway and then it became a thing no one talked about, much like an officer suicide. Odd how that is.
        You are right it’s a bad, bad day! It’s really bad when you have to transport the person who murdered a fellow officer. Talk about a test of discipline and honor! You passed with flying colors!
        This is going to sound strange, but I used to play the piano and one of my teachers talked about technical players who could play every note perfectly, but had something missing. She also spoke of players who, though they weren’t perfectly on time or missed a note, could bring people to tears with the beauty and passion of their playing. All of this is to say your writing did for me exactly what it was supposed to by drawing me in and experiencing the characters in as real a situation as I’ve personally experienced. Not dragging on anybody, but some folks can get too caught up in technical details and miss the color. :) Keep up the great work and keep that soul in your writing!

  25. Well deserved Chris, don’t believe in empty compliments. I look forward to when it’s published because I will put my money where my mouth is! :-)

  26. 56 Alex B

    Some really gripping, edge of your seat stuff here, Chris. I would recommend leaving it in, it’s too good to cut. Like someone else already mentioned, this scene seems like it would belong at the beginning the story, kinda like the opening scene of the movie “End of Watch”, if you’ve seen it. After reading this excerpt, I’m heading straight to Amazon and buying your other book. Keep up the good work man!

    • Thanks for the support, Alex. I’m still kicking around options, and this book is temporarily shelved because I don’t think the subject matter would be particularly appealing to the country at the moment.

      I did see the End of Watch, and I was a little peeved at the opening chase scene. The chase itself was good, the end was way too Hollywood.

      Thanks for buying the book, hope you enjoy it and please drop a review.


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