Dear Query Shark:
Father Rolf Sorenson is a procurator—responsible for spiritual law and order in the Christian Republic. He’s a Priest of the Gun. He barely remembers America before the Awakening, before he began hearing the Voices. They’re his secret curse, those Voices. They hound him with mindless phrases and bits of banned pop songs.
On a cold Chicago night, Rolf takes a call—yet another church suicide, seems like, a woman in a baptismal
Rolf knows he should close the case as a suicide. If he pursues the woman’s killer, he’ll attract unwanted attention from the clerics in DC and risk exposing his own secret. But Rolf can’t let go: the case could reveal at last what the Voices are and the role they played in transforming America into a theocracy.
PRIEST OF THE GUN is a procedural with supernatural elements, set in a dark future where TRUE DETECTIVE meets THE HANDMAID’S TALE. It’s complete at 99,000 words.
I taught legal writing at (school). I’m now a tenured professor at (a different) Law School and a scholar of National Security Law, which plays a minor role in the novel. I’ve published a couple of pieces in THE NEW REPUBLIC and numerous articles in law journals.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I'd read this. This is a good solid query. It give us enough world building to know where we are, without overloading details to bog down the pace of the query.
It's also something I haven't seen before, and that's always a good thing.
An of course, the writing is very good.
I'm not sure you need comps here. I have a good sense of this book without them.
BUT, if you want to use comps, don't use a book that isn't published. And particularly not one you haven't read in its entirety.
Comps are one way to figure out where a book goes in the bookstore; is it SF or literary for example, would be a question I'd ask here.
Comps are one way for readers to hear about your book: if you liked that book, you'll like this one.
You want to get as close as you can in category and style. This book is similar to The Electric Church in setting but I have a feeling it's a lot less violent. You'd have to read TEC to know if it's a good comp AND want to see your book shelved in SF, cause that's what TEC is.
Some agents insist on comps so it's a good idea to include them.