April 19 2008
Ms. Janet Reid
Fine Print Literary Management
Dear Ms. Reid:
Twenty years ago, six desperate men took what didn't belong to them and signed their death warrants. Now burnt-out Special Affairs Section (SAS) investigator, COMMANDER BLAIN CAVAN (why is this in caps?) is recruited by a clandestine agency known as "The Corporation" to find out who is behind the disappearance of the Ruby Buddha, a priceless jade image stolen from the Imperial Palace in Hue during the Vietnam War. To stave off Chinese intervention, the United States must return the Ruby Buddha to the Vietnamese Government or face a dangerous shift of power and allegiance in SE Asia.
Chinese intervention in what? Dangerous shift of power in SE Asia? China is going to melt? Please don't tell me you think American has a lot of power and influence in SE Asia.
As Cavan races to find and recover the Ruby Buddha he also discovers betrayal at the highest levels of government - in both the U.S. and China, and faces betrayal at a personal level that pits him in a life and death struggle with a Chinese colonel who's long wanted to see him dead.
My extensive real-life experiences throughout S.E. Asia, Papua/New Guinea and the Pacific Islands provides me with firsthand knowledge of the cultures and geography that lends a strong edge of reality to Cavan's story as he's forced to travel to the ends of the earth to bring down a madman who appears to know his every move.
Madmen are over used as villains and even in thrillers they are boring. The most interesting and compelling villains are the ones who would describe themselves as heroes of the story.
THE RUBY BUDDHA, a Commander Blain Cavan action-adventure mystery, is 100,000 words and complete. If the project interests you, I would be delighted to send additional pages or the full upon request.
The problem here is that the stakes aren't clear. It's sort of like you're describing that world peace hinges on the return of the Maltese Falcon. Stories that hinge on the discovery of an icon/return of an icon tend to be conflicts between individuals. If you want to write a thriller wherein the balance of power rests on the outcome of the conflict, you need higher stakes than the return of an icon. The only way that would work is if the icon is magic and then you're into a whole new category: SF, not action-adventure mystery.