Book Jacket

 

rank 5339
word count 13595
date submitted 26.01.2009
date updated 29.12.2013
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Gay
classification: adult
incomplete

The Geology of Desirehttp://authonomy.com/images/step2_off.gif

Clint Wastling

When David watches his ex-girlfriend and her lover thrown to their deaths, we are taken for a violent emotional roller-coaster ride through crime and geology.

 

When David, an undergraduate student, chooses to study the geology of Whitby, the area has more than an academic interest for him. It is also the scene of the murder of his school friend and her lover, recently thrown to their deaths from the windswept cliffs.
His unyielding curiosity quickly finds him enmeshed in a web of intrigue that connects pornography to European fossil smugglers and a homicidal cop.
David's amateur investigation reveals that the mystery behind the crimes on the coast revolves around his girlfriend Carrie and an anonymous girl, identified only by her short, pink skirt. He is distracted from his pursuit of truth when he falls in love with Ricky, but reminded of his precarious position when a cop and family friend is killed.
Detective Chief Inspector Birbeck, the crooked head of Whitby CID, tries to cover up and frame David. As he studies layers of rock, he discovers that the principles of geology are equally applicable to human existence, and the, primeval desires that lie beneath the veneer of civilised behaviour.
This blackly humorous crime novel is complete at 75000 words.

 
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tags

adventure, black comedy, crime, gay, thriller

on 5 watchlists

16 comments

 

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clint01 wrote 114 days ago

The Geology of Desire has been accepted for publication by Stairwell Books. I'm leaving the first three chapters on Authonomy for a few weeks. Thanks for all the helpful/insightful comments.

meemers wrote 1466 days ago

Short sentences, long sentences, doesn't matter. I've seen top sellers do both or one and have proven to be great writers. This is a fine read here, things flow well and it has it's share of suspense. Everyone is always editing on here..well, almost. After it's tweaked, it will be even better. Good job.

all the best
shelved
sue sohn

andyroo wrote 1617 days ago

Well - geology. A fascinating subject. As a boy I would hunt for fossils down on the coast of hastings, cracking rocks upon each other to try and find a little piece of history. Hours passed they did, and a heap of broken stone built up. Every rock raised above my head was another leap of excitement in my chest and lurch of disappointment as it cracked open, revealing it's barren insides. Hours, I tell you. And then this guy just strolls up, cocky as you like, grabs a rock from the fresh, uncracked heap and splits it in two like walnut, revealing the most complete and shiny ammonite I'd ever seen. Bastard. Still, he let me have it. But, I digress. And I wouldn't want to misled people into thinking I'd written a really long and useful crit.
Your book. Interesting. Amusing. You have a crisp voice that slides free of pointless baggage. I like it. One thing that got to me after a handful of lines was the repetitive rhythm. The sentence lengths very rarely change, and it become a bit like a lymeric. Try and toss these about a bit, vary the lengths, get some diversity going on is that rhythm. It does improve as the chapters roll on, and by chapter four things seem to have got much better, but it's the first few chapters that people will read, er, first. So bear that in mind. But yeah. Great.

Andrew

nkpulley wrote 1625 days ago

This is really beautifully written. I started reading at chapter six and was hooked quite easily from there. Your evocation of the beaches is lovely, and David is nicely understated through the three chapters I've read. There were a few bits of shaky punctuation along the way; you've got a way of beginning speech with a lower case letter in the middle of a sentence, which I don't think is correct outside non-fiction, and there are still a few typos here are there. Those are small things, though, and I loved the intrigue and the flow of the rest.
Shelved
NK Pulley (Angelisterre)

lynn clayton wrote 1737 days ago

Clint, space at last. Shelved. Lynn

lynn clayton wrote 1738 days ago

Clint, I love reading thrillers and this is one of the most unusual and gripping I've read. Vivid, literary images. On WL until space. (Tomorrow, I hope.) Then shelved. Lynn

clint01 wrote 1834 days ago

Hi Gina,
Thanks for the comments. I've never quite resolved the fact that the novel deals with two converging timelines, so I put the prologue in at the end, to try and clarify things. I think you've given my novel a lift to its highest ranking so far!
Best Wishes,
Clint

Clint,
Strong opening even if it is overly wordy. Makes me want to find out WHY he was out there in the first place along with WHY were they killed? Good suspense.

I DID wonder what was going on in chapter 1…. Glad to see the tie-in at the end but it makes me wonder NOW, “why was he reading a story?” He just saw 2 people he knew killed in the prologue and then next thing is him reading. I just don’t think that fits right. Can’t that come later if it is a necessary family reference?

Cause now I see that you continue in chap 2… I wonder if chapter 1 then is just out of place. Chapter 2 proves more interesting.

Your book is below 2000? Well, I think it needs a lift :)
Shelved.
Gina

tadhgfan wrote 1837 days ago

Clint,
Strong opening even if it is overly wordy. Makes me want to find out WHY he was out there in the first place along with WHY were they killed? Good suspense.

I DID wonder what was going on in chapter 1…. Glad to see the tie-in at the end but it makes me wonder NOW, “why was he reading a story?” He just saw 2 people he knew killed in the prologue and then next thing is him reading. I just don’t think that fits right. Can’t that come later if it is a necessary family reference?

Cause now I see that you continue in chap 2… I wonder if chapter 1 then is just out of place. Chapter 2 proves more interesting.

Your book is below 2000? Well, I think it needs a lift :)
Shelved.
Gina

mskea wrote 1872 days ago

Hi Clint,
Have a feeling that the order on my watchlist is skewed and I should ahve afew others to get to before you, but ssh. I'm here now. And I do tend to look for what I see as problems, but any comments I make are intended to be helpful, hopefully you will find they are.
However first some phrases / sentences that I found effective - 'She made an issue of it...' (coeliac) / 'this place hadn't always been so lifeless. For the first term Drew had shared my desk..' / 'number rendered useless by its immensity.' / the blending in of the folklore re snakes - ammonites - was beautiful. In general the geology refs were very evocative (maybe it helps that my dad was a geography teacher whopunctuated all our holidays by stopping everytime he saw an interesting geological feature to point it out to us kids.)
Loved the 'Aunt had impressed on me the nutritional value of baked beans...'

There is clearly emotional intensity here and obvously murder is a good hook, but reading the blurb I wonder if the plot is too complicated? Hard to tell without reading whole text though - so just a thought.

I felt that 'I gasped.' is a little ott for an opening - it gives a sense of great drama, which makes the folowing section a bit flat. It would be better (imo) to remove it. You would then start gradually and build up to the murder.
The section from the intro of Drew and boyfriend is confusing. - I couldn't work out where everyone was and how many there were. At first I thought that Drew was in the same car as David, then realised she must be outside. I wondered why David hadn't seen Bart right away? Maybe he needs to turn round or something?
There is no sense of Bart getting into the car, but he must have done. Why did Drew and boyfriend get in the car? Why on an awful night would they agree to go to the edge of the cliffs with the police? Why is David watching all this? Why is he even here?
David seemed to be parking his car at the abbey, but the policecar is there, so he can't have. They are round the corner - so how can he see?
Why handcuff boyfriend - presumably so that he can't intervene - but why wouldn't Drew try to escape at that point? When the boyfriend is uncuffed, wouldn't he try to escape?
What is the point of the ref to the grandparents house - coming at the end of the prologue gives it huge significance - which hopefully is appropriate.
Its not that I object to questions being raised in a prologue that will be answered later, I just feel there are too many of them here. If some of the practicalities were sorted out then the real mystery would be highlighted. IE Why the murder?
I did have one wee problem with suspending disbelief - why didn't David go to police somewhere, is there a reason that he can't got to police?
And a couple of nit-picks -Barbara as a smoker - several refs to this - sugg remove one of them. / 'take in the vista of..' sounds rather formal and stilted, but also in the circumstances and the weather a little unlikely.
I hope this doesn't sound too negative - I think that there is a good story here and the geological background (imo) adds significantly to this, but I do feel that the early chapters that I read need to be sharpened up.
I hope this has been some help, and of course this is just my opinion - others may completely disagree.
Good luck with it,
Margaret

McMorna wrote 1882 days ago

Clint,

I'm through Chapter 3 and I'm really loving this. I have to stop now because--I swear this is the truth--I have to go to a funeral. Not Drew's. I noticed the note from three days ago from Robin: I think I'd disagree with that suggestion. You know, it's all just a matter of readers giving their best advice, and I don't think mine's better than Robin's, but for what it's worth, I think that you want to keep the prologue the way it is (or at least, the way it is in the version I just read). I prefer the mystery of the protagonist's motivations. I can see a complex plot developing. I'll have to look back at your favorite books to see your origins--this reminds me of Graham Greene, though, I must say to this point, the intrigue, the sexual politics, the romance of WWII Britain.

Well, I'm going to offer condolences and I'll try to get back to the book as quick as I can. But I think you're onto something here.

Ron Ebest
ColdTalons

Robin Helweg-Larsen wrote 1885 days ago

Clint, this isn't my genre, but I think you have an interesting situation and a strong sense of place. My only comment from the first section is - Didn't even cross the protagonist's mind to go to the police (maybe in another city) and report the murders? If there is a reason that he couldn't do it, I think that should at least be acknowledged "Of course, with my background, I couldn't think of going to the authorities", with an understanding that the reasons will be explained later. Without this, it doesn't feel fully thought out to me.

But I'll put it on my shelf to recognise the strengths of the book.

Best, Robin

McMorna wrote 1885 days ago

Hey, Clint, thanks for your comments. I've watchlisted your book, and I'll get to it ASAP.

clint01 wrote 1896 days ago

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your comments --they really are welcome, as you say like all writers I'm too close to notice some of these problems as I (hopefully) know what's going on. I'm pleased that overall you're enjoying the book. I look forward to hearing more from you.
Thanks.

Clint,
Enjoying your story. A few comments.
Your narrator is in the hire car. He says Drew pulled her collar tight. Her boyfriend put his arm around her and held her closer. Up until that point I think Drew and boyfriend are in the same car, and then I find out they are not. I think you need to tell us he looked out the window and saw Drew.
A couple of times you switch from past tense to present tense. It's easy for a writer to do and not notice. It's usually the reader who notices. I think most of us slip up here from time to time.
"They walked around the corner and I briefly ran.....I have to think, who? Oh, Drew and her boyfriend. Were the officers with them? Should probably change the "they" to whoever was walking.
Bartholomew had stopped the party (I'm thinking the group that was walking around the corner, but not sure).
He looked around. His friend handcuffed the man. (I'm not sure which man here, Drew's boyfriend?)

Clint, It's not my intent to sound mean or critical. You have a great story here. It is original. You have some great metaphors and some vivid beautiful imagery. It just needs a bit of polishing so I hope you're not upset at the comments.
One last thing, Authonomy provides a bunch of generic covers for books. They are easy to use, but most of them don't fit the story very well. I sense your's does not. These covers get used over and over (this one not so much, but I've seen it several times) and so people get confused by the same cover on multiple books. A week ago I had three books on my bookshelf with the same cover. It was crazy. Get an original cover and I think your book will do better. I've only seen two books with Authonomy covers get into the top fifty and they ended up getting orignal covers and did even better.
Good luck and I hope your book rises on the charts!

Jeff

Jeff Blackmer wrote 1897 days ago

Clint,
Enjoying your story. A few comments.
Your narrator is in the hire car. He says Drew pulled her collar tight. Her boyfriend put his arm around her and held her closer. Up until that point I think Drew and boyfriend are in the same car, and then I find out they are not. I think you need to tell us he looked out the window and saw Drew.
A couple of times you switch from past tense to present tense. It's easy for a writer to do and not notice. It's usually the reader who notices. I think most of us slip up here from time to time.
"They walked around the corner and I briefly ran.....I have to think, who? Oh, Drew and her boyfriend. Were the officers with them? Should probably change the "they" to whoever was walking.
Bartholomew had stopped the party (I'm thinking the group that was walking around the corner, but not sure).
He looked around. His friend handcuffed the man. (I'm not sure which man here, Drew's boyfriend?)

Clint, It's not my intent to sound mean or critical. You have a great story here. It is original. You have some great metaphors and some vivid beautiful imagery. It just needs a bit of polishing so I hope you're not upset at the comments.
One last thing, Authonomy provides a bunch of generic covers for books. They are easy to use, but most of them don't fit the story very well. I sense your's does not. These covers get used over and over (this one not so much, but I've seen it several times) and so people get confused by the same cover on multiple books. A week ago I had three books on my bookshelf with the same cover. It was crazy. Get an original cover and I think your book will do better. I've only seen two books with Authonomy covers get into the top fifty and they ended up getting orignal covers and did even better.
Good luck and I hope your book rises on the charts!

Jeff

clint01 wrote 1904 days ago

Hi Andy,
Thanks for your helpful comments. I'll look into these. I've left you some feedback as well. I hope that helps!

Hi Clint,
Nice touches in the opening para - "took a leaf from Barty's book", Aunt G being a celiac, e.g.

Para 2, though, got me a bit lost. I'm a "slow" reader, picky at times. Seemed to me that Drew and her guy were in the car with the narrator but then they got into the police car, a car that hasn't yet been mentioned, without leaving the narrators' car. is it Bart's police car they get into? I assumed stuff in this para but read it a few times to be sure, so it took me away from the narrative arc. On the other hand, nice detail and nice rendition of setting.

Para 3:
2nd sentence "They walked ..." -> they doesn't refer back to any noun. maybe say "The policemen ..."

I like short sentences but some really short ones seemed to hang: "I gasped" and "I shivered"

When Bart pushed D over the edge and the narrator screamed "No!", I could see this happening if the N said it to himself, but not out loud. Too many officers nearby, even if the setting is gale-force winds, etc.

Great dialog with Barbara!

As you can see, I get into micro mode. Hope my comments help.

Andy M. Potter wrote 1905 days ago

Hi Clint,
Nice touches in the opening para - "took a leaf from Barty's book", Aunt G being a celiac, e.g.

Para 2, though, got me a bit lost. I'm a "slow" reader, picky at times. Seemed to me that Drew and her guy were in the car with the narrator but then they got into the police car, a car that hasn't yet been mentioned, without leaving the narrators' car. is it Bart's police car they get into? I assumed stuff in this para but read it a few times to be sure, so it took me away from the narrative arc. On the other hand, nice detail and nice rendition of setting.

Para 3:
2nd sentence "They walked ..." -> they doesn't refer back to any noun. maybe say "The policemen ..."

I like short sentences but some really short ones seemed to hang: "I gasped" and "I shivered"

When Bart pushed D over the edge and the narrator screamed "No!", I could see this happening if the N said it to himself, but not out loud. Too many officers nearby, even if the setting is gale-force winds, etc.

Great dialog with Barbara!

As you can see, I get into micro mode. Hope my comments help.

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