Book Jacket

 

rank 1160
word count 30831
date submitted 13.11.2009
date updated 05.07.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Thriller...
classification: universal
incomplete

Telegraph

Tarrant Hoke

A legendary, but dangerous road, a target, a fatal mistake, an unintended victim, and C. W. Coleman make a lethal combination.

 

Telegraph is a winding tale that needs to be told by the one man that has never forgotten that cold March night when Margaret Coleman was found dead at the scene. C. W. Coleman's life is forever changed and every person in Taylor County will be affected.

Thus, the nightmare begins with Madison Conner asking why and Coleman asking why Margaret was caught in the middle of a mafia execution? He certainly couldn't tell Madison he'd had her husband killed. As the layers of betrayal unfold Coleman finds himself looking in Hank O'Malley's direction. Hank, now a respected judge, mired in gambling debt, had struck a deal years ago with the devil, Charles McConnell, that would only come back to haunt him.

The real mystery, however, lies sixty years in the past with Dr. Dan O'Han and his friend Henry Maxwell who was shot and killed in his study and there was only one witness, Judy O'Malley. Judy has hidden her secret well, but with Margaret's death and Hank's involvement, Judy is now faced with a choice - keep her secret or face Coleman.

Does Coleman find the justice he so desperately wants?



 
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TDonna wrote 586 days ago

I've enjoyed reading this story very much, with its complex characters and an equally complex storyline shrouded in a veil of mystery and secrecy. This is a literary gem, with beautiful descriptions and smart lines, i.e., "about as friendly as a rattlesnake in business transactions," "the line that had been drawn in the shifting sands of time," "like a fog shrouding a lake," and so many, many more. Very well written, deeply insightful and thought provoking, inticing and maintaining a reader's interest until the very end. Intriguing and superbly wrtten.
Donna
No Kiss Goodbye

Adam Thurstman wrote 666 days ago

What about me, everyone I know has just died and I've only got seconds to live, please back me!!!
Only kidding, everything’s fine; relax!

I saw you comment on 'How to fail' and and wondered if you wanted to help me back it again, it's so funny. If so it's on my book shelf.

Adam

David Price wrote 681 days ago

Tarrant, from what I've read so far, the pain of loss is the underlying theme here, and the power of Telegraph Road works very nicely as a symbol of that loss. You write very well, and I will try to read more soon.
David
MASTER ACT: a memoir

Margaret0307 wrote 712 days ago

A very well written book and a great idea to base the story around the name of the road which has so much sadness, mystery and intrigue attached to it. Many people will relate to such a road which has 'more caution signs than I had shirts' and many people will immediately relate to a story of the sudden loss of a loved one. Your writing is so moving about such a loss and how to cope - or not - that one immediately wonders if you have had personal experience of such loss.

I was pulled into the story immediately and, as with any good book, the questions started to arise in my mind about what was going on so that I just had to keep reading! Telegraph has changed and shattered so many lives - but of course that is just the name of a road and it is certain people who are really responsible. Who are they?

I would be very interested to know what happens next so I hope you will continue with the story!

Very highly rated.

Margaret
How do I know I know God?

Adeel wrote 730 days ago

A nice, descriptive and well written book. Your writing style is very impressive, dialogue are realistic with vivid charachters and narrative is at great pace. The element of suspense is really hooking. Highly rated.

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 740 days ago

Dear Tarrant

I am rather sorry you have seemingly let this little story lie here. It feels neglected and overlooked. You have a lot going for you in this little tale of love and losses. Your descriptions are poignant, and your dialogue has a natural feel to it.

I challenge you to keep going with your writing. Although you started as therapy, there is considerable depth in this offering.

Take care

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped" xx :-))

Wanttobeawriter wrote 840 days ago

TELEGRAPH
There was a road similar to Telegraph where I grew up; more accidents per mile than any other, so I related immediately to this story. I like your characters; it’s easy to feel Madison’s grief and how, no matter how she struggles, she can’t get past the pain she feels. I’m adding this to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Jennie Lyne Hiott wrote 934 days ago

Hi, I'm sorry it took so long for me to return the read. I read a little of your book and I found it very interesting. I'm not very good at pointing out errors in grammar and such but as for the storyline I believe it is entertaining so far. Telegraph road sounds like a road that would lure in its drivers and then when they are comfortable and least expect it would shatter their lives. The only thing I could suggest is to perhaps change the name of "Hell's Kitchen" to something different because it caused me to be distracted from your story and reminded me of the tv show. I began to think about what had happened the last time I watched it and you dont want other readers to do the same. Other than that I like the story and I wish you all the luck in the world.
Jennie Lyne Hiott
Hearts and Lies.

Dr Bath wrote 944 days ago

I'm a fan of thrillers, and really enjoyed reading the first chapter. I'll keep my review until I have something constructive to say !

Beth

Walden Carrington wrote 995 days ago

Tarrant,
Your description of Telegraph Road reminds me of Pacific Coast Highway with all its twists and turns, but the scenic views of the ocean make it a pleasant drive. You have that element of suspense woven into the narrative which is important in the thriller genre. I enjoy these types of mysteries as one is kept in that suspenseful state to some degree throughout the entire work.

Walden Carrington
Titanic: Rose Dawson's Story

edieeverson wrote 1170 days ago

I've added "Telegraph" to my watch list! Sounds exciting!

Colin Normanshaw wrote 1180 days ago

This is an engaging story, with a very interesting premise. The central theme running through is the influence of Telegraph Road. The people it effects deal with it like a person. Great dialogue and a surprisingly good pace that keeps things moving along nicely. Backed. Colin

Juliet Ann wrote 1181 days ago

TELEGRAPH - The opening is very poignant, with the road given a life of its own, a malovelent presence that seems to take over the lives of Madison and CW. The accident is only referred to obliquely, and that is a good way to hook the reader and keep them turning the pages, though I remain confused (after five chapter) about who has actually died, so that could do with some clarity.

After the prologue you launch the reader into an involving plot, centred around the family that I think CW works for (friends with the father), and some land they want to buy from another family; Monique’s. The mafia connection is not apparent at this point in the book, but the reader is given the impression this family don’t mess around and do everything they can to get what they want (Madison’s job is to keep them the right side of the law). I am struggling a little, with who is who and how they are all related, so this could do with more clarity.

The writing is poetic at times, with talks about the passing of time and memories and the obvious personification of the road itself. Lovely as the writing is, watch it doesn’t become repetitive – the prologue does a good job of conveying the road’s hold, so I would cut back on referencing it too much in the opening chapters, proper (or drop the prologue).

The area I found the most problematic was the POV – it is written in 1st person (CW) and yet it often switches to close third (knowing what Madison is thinking and feeling). Ist person is very limiting – the reader can only know what CW directly knows, but switching in and out of 3rd and 1st is disorientating. You could have alternating chapters – CW in 1st and close third for other characters. Or keep it all in limited 1st person (but then the reader is only privy to what CW knows), or possibly alternating first person chapters. Of course, you can choose to leave it as it is, it is your novel and I am only offering tentative suggestions based on only a few chapters.

I hope my thoughts are of some use to you. Juliet

rb101182 wrote 1184 days ago

thanks tarrant, I have added you as well, and will shelf you as soon as it becomes available!

Rachel

Marie Crist wrote 1188 days ago

Ha! I swear you are writing about a road we had in Tompkinsville, Ky. So many have died on it, people I knew. I like how ominous you have made the road feel. As if it is lying in wait for it's next unsuspecting victim.


Marie

CG Thelen wrote 1189 days ago

Just started reading and am drawn into the story and have an inital thought... I would incorporate the Prologue into the first chapter and let the characters describe the road and its dangers. They already touch on the fact that its dangerous so I would expand a bit on that without weighting down the dialogue or story telling. I'm anxious to continue reading.

CG Thelen wrote 1189 days ago

Just started reading and am drawn into the story and have an inital thought... I would incorporate the Prologue into the first chapter and let the characters describe the road and its dangers. They already touch on the fact that its dangerous so I would expand a bit on that without weighting down the dialogue or story telling. I'm anxious to continue reading.

CG Thelen wrote 1189 days ago

Just started reading and am drawn into the story. I would incorporate the Prologue into the first chapter and let the characters describe the road and its dangers. They already touch on the fact that its dangerous so I would expand a bit on that without weighting down the dialogue or story telling. I'm anxious to continue reading.

Jeannie200 wrote 1201 days ago

Hi Tarrant, As promised I've started reading "Telegraph" and like that the road has been given it's own personality and becomes almost a character. The prologue makes me want to find out more about the trouble the road has caused. If you want editing suggestions, here they are:
*I'd like some indication what part of the country the road is in -- I couldn't get my bearings.
* "become a friend..." seems flippant and works against the dread you are building
* Try: Drivers misjudge the hair pin turns; many are buried behind the Baptist church off Cemetery road. Add that to previous paragraph and omit the rest of the paragraph or whittle it down.
* In "it seemed to grip you..." , what does "it" refer to?
* Was Jim's nickname "Hell's Kitchen"? A confusing sentence.
* Try: "You can't out run Telegraph and more than you can outrun a bullet. Them curves...." Jim is a little too wordy.
I mean these suggestions in the kindest way and hope they help because you have a good story growing.
Good luck.
Jeanne Meeks
Rim to Rim-- Death in the Grand Canyon

LL Su wrote 1204 days ago

Hi Tarrant,

I wasn’t sure what you wanted from me. Backing, starring…. I value comments, so I’m giving you that. (Well, I starred it, too.) =)

You have one of the best prologue I’ve read so far here on Authonomy. You’ve given Telegraph Road a certain personification. It’s a road, but it sustains some kind of mysterious life about it. As a reader I feel compelled to step onto the road, or drive on it, just to experience it for myself, but at the same time I know I shouldn’t be doing it!

I’m sure Telegraph is a story that will keep readers up all night not stopping until the mystery of Margaret Coleman is solved or Judy O’Malley’s secret is revealed.

Hmmm….the book’s completed, right?
;)

All the best, Tarrant,

LL Su ~}¡{~WONDERFLIES~}¡{~

Bec C Simmonds wrote 1204 days ago

Telegraph

Just read the first part. I enjoyed the grand and atmospheric set up of Telegraph. However I do feel that there is no need to reinforce this, I feel that the tone has already been set and that lines such as 'the nightmare that Telegraph is...' serve no purpose, but suffocate the rest of the text, which is well written. My advice would be to give the reader more credit and allow more space for there imagination. You are very direct about the pain and vulnerability of characters, which is great but I would also like to know a little more about them sooner. I find that subtleties add realism and can give a lot away about the character e.g little habit's like biting nails or pulling bits of wool from a jumper. Just my opinions. Please don't let this make you think I didn't enjoy reading because I really did. Bec.

Silentnovelist wrote 1205 days ago

Telegraph

There’s a haunting atmosphere to this story which drew me in to another world, Tarrant. A lulling quality which I found strangely mesmerising, and you’ve introduced intrigue early on – what exactly happened, and what is it about that mysterious Telegraph Road? This story is unfolding like a slow film, and surprised me with its capacity to suck me right in. It’s well-written with good characterisation. I noticed ‘theses’ which I think should be ‘these’, which I’m sure will be tidied up in an edit.
I think you have a gift for realistic, naturally-flowing dialogue which brings this story to life. Madison’s struggle to come to terms with a mysterious and tragic past event is a great hook. You’ve created a vulnerable and appealing character, somehow flawed by (as yet) unknown tragedy. But it is the haunting narrative that held me – Telegraph Road seems almost a character in itself which I found original and effective. I enjoyed this book very much.
Good luck!
Diana

CarolinaAl wrote 1225 days ago

I read your prologue and first chapter.

General comments: A tense, emotional start to what promises to be a captivating story. Two engaging main characters. Apt descriptions. Good dialogue. Good tension/drama. Good pacing.

Specific comments on prologue:
1) ' ... had more caution signs than I had shirts.' Good phrasing. Fresh. Clever. Effective.
2) Seems a tad overwritten.

Specific comments on chapter one:
1) "Has it been a year?" Hooked me. Consider starting with this line.
2) ' ... adrift on a sea of emotions.' is cliche.
3) "CW, theses are for you." 'Theses' should be 'these.'
4) "You're the only person I know that has felt ..." 'That' should be 'who.'

I hope this critique will help you further polish your all important prologue and first chapter. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Happy holidays.

Al

Brian Bandell wrote 1227 days ago

The great thing about this novel is the atmosphere. I don't say this lightly: the way you case the road with a sense of dread is like something out of a Stephen King book. Well done.

I would advise that you show the reader some of the likable qualifies of your main characters early on. I understand their fear and vulnerability, but that alone isn't a reason enough to feel attached to them.

You second sentence “Its slick curves…” is an incomplete sentence. It’s missing a verb.

This is great work and I'll back it.

Brian
Mute

Brian Bandell wrote 1227 days ago

The great thing about this novel is the atmosphere. I don't say this lightly: the way you case the road with a sense of dread is like something out of a Stephen King book. Well done.

I would advise that you show the reader some of the likable qualifies of your main characters early on. I understand their fear and vulnerability, but that alone isn't a reason enough to feel attached to them.

You second sentence “Its slick curves…” is an incomplete sentence. It’s missing a verb.

This is great work and I'll back it.

Brian
Mute

Brian Bandell wrote 1227 days ago

The great thing about this novel is the atmosphere. I don't say this lightly: the way you case the road with a sense of dread is like something out of a Stephen King book. Well done.

I would advise that you show the reader some of the likable qualifies of your main characters early on. I understand their fear and vulnerability, but that alone isn't a reason enough to feel attached to them.

You second sentence “Its slick curves…” is an incomplete sentence. It’s missing a verb.

This is great work and I'll back it.

Brian
Mute

Brian Bandell wrote 1227 days ago

The great thing about this novel is the atmosphere. I don't say this lightly: the way you case the road with a sense of dread is like something out of a Stephen King book. Well done.

I would advise that you show the reader some of the likable qualifies of your main characters early on. I understand their fear and vulnerability, but that alone isn't a reason enough to feel attached to them.

You second sentence “Its slick curves…” is an incomplete sentence. It’s missing a verb.

This is great work and I'll back it.

Brian
Mute

Brian Bandell wrote 1227 days ago

The great thing about this novel is the atmosphere. I don't say this lightly: the way you case the road with a sense of dread is like something out of a Stephen King book. Well done.

I would advise that you show the reader some of the likable qualifies of your main characters early on. I understand their fear and vulnerability, but that alone isn't a reason enough to feel attached to them.

You second sentence “Its slick curves…” is an incomplete sentence. It’s missing a verb.

This is great work and I'll back it.

Brian
Mute

SaffinaD wrote 1228 days ago

Backed with pleasure. Saffina.

http://www.saffinadesforges.com

Constantinople wrote 1228 days ago

The last paragraph of the prologue is sublime! You could easily turn those words into the lyrics of a country song.

This is really well written. I didn't enjoy chap 11 as much as some others in the book. I wish the dialogue were broken up a bit more in that chapter.

Overall, I like the story and characters and am happy to back the book.

Margaret Woodward wrote 1235 days ago

Hi Tarrant,

To sort it all out - my last comments were dealing with Default, and still stand. For some reason the site kept returning me to that book instead of Telegraph. By closing down and starting again I have at last caught up with Telegraph. It too has gone on my watch list - and I think it is more of my book than the last.

Brave man for working on two books at a time!

Margaret Woodward

hfleming wrote 1235 days ago

Hi Tarrant,

I have added your book to my watchlist...look forward to reading it!

hannah

Madison Haze wrote 1236 days ago

Tarrant, I am adding your book to my watch list as well. Your opening made me want to continue reading and I can picture everything very well.

CMTStibbe wrote 1240 days ago

Tarrant, This is a great novel. I read up to chapter four and intend to read much more after Thanksgiving. I can 'see' the area in my mind's eye and your poetic descriptions are excellent. It draws the reader in to the plot. I am looking forward to finding out about the tragedy. Starred and backed. Great read. CMTStibbe, Author of Chasing Pharaohs I.

Susanna.K.James wrote 1240 days ago

I have read up to the end of Chapter Three and although I am impressed by the original concept of giving a road/woodland a brooding character of it's own........however, I am completely baffled by your human characters.

Who are they? Brothers? Sisters? Lovers? Husbands and wives? What are their relationships? And what tragedy has befallen them? I do think that by the end of Chapter Three the reader should have some idea of who is who, their distinct personalities, and the background stories By the time another unknown - Jo Ann - was introduced - I was ready to throw in the towel long before I got to the promising plot line mentioned in your pitch.

Yet having said that, I do think that your novel has got some potential. I have known a road like that which led up to a remote 4 star hotel in North Yorkshire. Motorists were forever arriving at the hotel pale faced, with whip lash from struggling to take the bends or carrying lurid tales of herds of deer which had leapt out of woodland in front of their car and kicked out the headlights. I once spent a spooky 20 minutes on the same black lane driving at 5mph behind a fat waddling badger who wouldn't get out of the road..... You feel strangely vulnerable at that speed...

Go for it. With a little work it could be a classic. :)

NMGreer wrote 1241 days ago

Hi - Great book!! Loved it!! Thanks :) Nicole

CR Harding wrote 1246 days ago

Tarrant, Captivating read. Kept my attention span, which is hard to do. My only suggestion would be to remove the cliches. Just my opinion. Best wishes. CR

Lee Daniel wrote 1248 days ago

I have only made it through the first three chapters so far, but I am very interested in finishing this and learning more about the tragedy of Telegraph and all it has effected.

Ariel Du Plume wrote 1249 days ago

Pensive narrative gives this book an exclusive style. I enjoyed reading it's captivating intent. A well written ambiance. Unusual. Great story with characters well presented, yet leaving an idea for change in circumstance. Backed. Best of luck. Ariel

Benjamin Dancer wrote 1261 days ago

The dialgoue in ch 11 reads like a major unveiling of a mystery--someting that has been plaguing the characters and reader throughout the story. As I read, I'm piecing together the plot and tension ofthe novel. It has a confessionary tone. I feel almost like a voyuer. CW comes off as larger than life.

The tension escaltes with bomb like revelations--a climax of sorts. I'm wondering how close we are to the end of the story.

The drama between these characters is intense.

When I finished11, I had the sense that I knew the whole story, either by what was said or left unsaid. It was a lot of dialgoue--very little action or setting. So I'm limited in what I can respond to. The transisitons felt fine. The dialogue read well, fit its genre. The characters well defined and distict as they spoke.

I do find myself wanting to read more and learn about Telegraph.

Elizabeth.NYC wrote 1263 days ago

I appreciate the ambiance of this story so much - the opening where the key character is the road itself. I find that effective. This is not my first trip down the road, and it will not be my last. I truly enjoy the clean, close narrative style as CW recounts the story. Many sentences that made me think, "I wish I'd written that" - like "reality had become a cruel friend." Very touching as CW and Madison return to the scene of the accident, and the depth of the story in the first chapters is that connection to grief and regret. Excellent book.
Lizzi
(Out of Sync)

jo danilo wrote 1268 days ago

I read four chapters of Telegraph and, while I enjoyed it, I thought there was some room for improvement.

I was surprised about the amount of importance a road was given and found this idea quite interesting. The main character likens it to a living, breathing organism, and that certainly came across(but perhaps a bit too much 'road' in the prologue and first two chapters?). There was also a lot of philosophising about life and how cruel it can be etc (perhaps also a bit too much repetition as far as that goes). I feel that, from what I read, the beginning can be drastically cut because I kept waiting for the plot to begin for real. Also, a few more commas and a few less exclamation marks.

Now onto the positives - the prologue was nicely poetical and appealed to me. It made me want to read more about this strange road. The sadness of the two main characters came across well. You do have a nice style of writing and I think this would come out more with some editing.

I hope this all helps you...

Deborah A Jackson wrote 1270 days ago

Hi Tarrant, I read three chapters, will read some more. A promising story, although I do feel that some dialogue needs to be revised. Feelings can be shown rather than told, however, I will continue to read this. I'm wondering if some of the action, prior to the event, could be put in at the beginning? For example, in your brief synopsis, you write about a deal with the devil, a hint of this possibly. Forgive me, I am in an analytical frame of mind, the premise is promising and I look forward to reading more. Backed!

Carmen Glade wrote 1274 days ago

This has great potential. There are some confusing sentences that either need commas or to be split into two. I find reading my writing out loud helps me realize if sentences need to be restructured. Also there are a few times (particularly in chapter 2) you have quite a bit of dialogue going back and forth without ever labeling who is saying what and I kinda got lost. You might want to add a few identifiers so the reader isn't left guessing, especially at such an early point in the story where the characters are still being established. With that being said, please don't think I didn't enjoy it! I really think you've got some good things going and a very promising story. A bit of editing will make it all the better!

RonParker wrote 1275 days ago

Hi Tarrant,

This is an unusual concept and has promise. However, after a perfectly written prologue, I'm afraid the technical side of the writing then goes downhill. You have a number of typos and need to check your punctuation. Some examples are these instead of these, 'they' which should be 'we' (possibly a slip into third person here) and you have a paragraph of dialogue which is spoken by the same person as the previous paragraph. Nothing worong with that, but the convention when this hapopens is not to use closing speech marks until the last paragraph.

I do think the story worthy of revising these points.

Ron

Ceeds wrote 1276 days ago

It is nice and dark and mysterious so far (I read up to chpt 4) but I would be inclined to break up the POVs with a few ***s - just to make the reader totally aware. Good luck with it, Ceeds

chvolkoff wrote 1277 days ago

"Telegraph" is a promising story, with a great start...I do think it needs some careful editing, to avoid confusion and make everything more understandable to the not too bright reader (me). First, in chapter 2 there is confusion in the fact that this is told at the first person, yet there is a sentence:"killed the two people they had both loved dearly", which is very confusing. Then, I think I got yet more confused by the different POVs. Coleman in the first person, or is it Madison? How much time has passed? I think it is 2 years since the accident, but a little more precision would be good.
That said, the premise, the writing, the character of the road itself, the lives it affects and the secrets around it all make for a fascinating read, that I am happy to back!

Runningwolf wrote 1278 days ago

HI CW. A good strong novel with strong characters Plot seems to be developing well and the story flows intelligently. I agree with what others have said about the dialogue, it appears a little unreal. I am also not sure about using your own name as the main character. I feel this should only been done in autobiographies. Backed. Best Wishes. James.

HannahWar wrote 1279 days ago

strange atmosphere, well-written, good pace but please be more sparse with the name Madison. It is a strange name and when it appears all the time it starts to be repetitive and sticks to the reader. Maybe you can use a description for her instead sometimes? Hannah

Colin Eston wrote 1280 days ago

Beautifully atmospheric prologue. Chapter 1 doesn't ring true - do people really talk to each other in such flowery language? Dialogue in Chapter 2 much more convincing.

Nice premise, with road as central 'character', but a fair amount of editing to do - commas especially. Short sections break the reader's concentration. I get the impression that this is an early draft which needs further shaping. Consequently, as it's not fully-formed, I can't back it yet.

It's got great potential, however, so all the best!

Yours

Colin Eston
Dying for Love