Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 14003
date submitted 08.06.2009
date updated 16.07.2010
genres: Thriller, Crime
classification: moderate
incomplete

SWOOP (formerly In All The Wrong Places)

Sheryl J. Dunn

One million pedophiles. Three angry women. One outrageous solution.

 

Meet AMBER GRAYSON - - runway model looks, a career as a stockbroker, and married to David, a prominent lawyer. But a secred childhood shame taints every breath, and her uncontrollable anger is threatening her marriage . . .

Meet veterinarian DR. ROBIN PIPER, grieving widow and recovering Roman Catholic. She feels guilty every time she puts an animal out of its misery - - and guiltier still that she lacked the courage to kill the pedophile who murdered her niece . . .

Meet sexy CASSIE DUBAIS, a successful car dealer - - she's been revved up and rarin' to take the turnpike to murder ever since two men gang raped her when she was ten, and the bastards got off, scot free . . .

Over dinner, wine and laughter, they devise ten rules for committing the perfect murder . . . and nothing stays the same.

"SWOOP is wonderfully satiric - - an overdue addition to the thriller genre. It sweeps you to the finish, and haunts you long after." (Michael Grais, screenwriter, director, and producer.)

 
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tags

conspiracies, crime, justice, thriller, vigilantes

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562 comments

 

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EdenTyler wrote 1713 days ago

I hate saying this, but every month (unless I've already read the book), I tend to stay away from the top 5. I'm not quite sure why... Whatever the reason, I might have to stop that nasty little habit of mine.
This is number one for a reason. One of the best I've read on this site. Heck, one of the best things I've read, period.
The first part is so chilling and sets the reader up nicely. Then I read through with all the women, gathering intriguing bits of information along the way. This is formatted so well and written with a wonderful grace.
Perfect wording in perfect spots -- including the title. I hadn't a clue what it was about and hadn't even bothered to check. For shame!
Most definitely deserving of a spot on my shelf. This is something really great here. Not only entertaining as 'just a book,' but also the message within is so important. I will definitely read on to see what these women have been, and are going, through. Congrats on a well-written book and on the top spot!!
Hope to be able to buy it soon.

-Eden
(The Abandoned Edge of Avalon)

jtstorey wrote 1722 days ago

Sheryl - I read your chapters last night and wanted to give it some thought before responding. There is no need to tell you what a fine writer you are and how polished this is. What I am most impressed by is your novel's central moral question... I am sorry I have not read the entire manuscript to determine how you deal with it, but shades of gray strike me as the best way to paint the answer. In any case, absolutely wonderful - my offer to you is to shelve when it matters most for you, at the end of the month. Please call on me for my support at that time and I will gladly provide it. Best of luck and hope to read this soon in print. - J.T. Storey (The Birch Egg)

Maria Luisa Lang wrote 1761 days ago

Dear Sheryl, The idea is a reader-magnet: I mean, who wouldn't root for and identify with your three vigilantes? What I admire even more is how the story is written: from the title on, all the right words in all the right places. For each of the three main characters, a distinctive voice that's just right for her: as with the automotive metaphors when it's Cassie's turn. Wonderful, but you do even more: you render very, very vividly and compellingly the thoughts and feeling of each woman—in Chapter 2, for example, you make Amber's anxiety and anger palpable.
Your first chapter is arresting, partly because of what Amber is up to, but mostly because of the precise detailed description of the setting, the action, and her reactions. You don't just pull the reader in; you make her an accomplice before and after the fact—you have her wanting Amber to succeed and escape.
This is crime fiction at its very best: haunting, psychologically complex, morally ambiguous. A soon-to-be critical and commercial success. On my shelf. Maria, The Pharaoh's Cat

Steven Bordeaux wrote 266 days ago

Interesting so far. I'd like to finish this one when I'm done with my next.

Amy R wrote 1374 days ago

I was iffy when I started and then I became intrigued and finally enthralled.
I feel like a freakin' fish! Oh look what's that? A worm... yes in fact it is and I'm hungry....yank...
Had to keep reading, it wasn't my decision. It just had to be and then you stopped and I whimpered.
So... you are amazing and well deserve your position on the list. I have no hesitation about backing you!

Very impressive...I would wish you luck but you have it in the bag!

Best wishes anyway!

AmyR

SusieGulick wrote 1375 days ago

Dear Sheryl, I can't remember if I read your 2 former books, but congrats on getting to the editor's desk. :) I've had my 2 memoir books on since March & am 68 from the Editor's desk - wonder how much longer? My problem is getting backers because I read, comment, & back, but one in ten reciprocate. How did you do it? I can't find anyone else to back. I knew this book would be good when I read your profile & prologue. :) What a plot for your story - on their way to do a murder. :) I wish you luck on completing you book & may you write many more - you have a wonderful start. :) Love, Susie :)

Wilma1 wrote 1449 days ago

I have no idea how I picked up your book but it caught my eye somewhere. I wont bother leaving comments as I just noticed your 'bin there and got theTshirt' star. I am in awe, needless to say having read it I can see why its an astounding read and one of the best books I have come across on here.

Please take pitty on one lower in the ranks i would welcome a review from such esteemed company.
Sue mackender
Knowing Liam Riley

Burgio wrote 1458 days ago

Wow. This is good writing. (I didn't realize this had a gold star before I read it; only saw it when I looked back to see its ranking - so now I realize you probably don't want any more comments - but I already read this so I'm going to make one). The first chapter is great; a glimpse inside what it would feel like to stage a suicide. Sure made me keep reading to the end of what you've posted here. And a good surprise as the story progresses that Amber is totally different than she seems in that first chapter. I'm adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

jdub wrote 1460 days ago

Paolita, working in criminal justice, understand issues, great tension and storytelling. John Warren Lasting Images, backed, mine totally different genre but have a read John Warren Lasting Images. backed.

Wilma1 wrote 1463 days ago

just started to read and realised I need more time to do it justice ... I will be back

Susan Bennett wrote 1488 days ago

Tremendously evocative. Smokin'.

lionel25 wrote 1499 days ago

Sheryl, your prologue and first chapter read well. Good mix of narrative and true-to-life dialogue. I understand why your work reached the top.

Happy to back this out of respect.

Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

shawshank wrote 1511 days ago

Awesome! i live in California near where a young girl has been missing since Thursday. The police recently arrested a convicted pedophile who had been released from prison. Turns out he may be responsible for the murder of a girl her last year. This book strikes a chord in the heart of people who are tired of the law not protecting children from true-life monsters. Besides that, the writing is excellent. You are what so many on this site are striving to be. Backed!

shawshank wrote 1511 days ago

Awesome! i live in California near where a young girl has been missing since Thursday. The police recently arrested a convicted pedophile who had been released from prison. Turns out he may be responsible for the murder of a girl her last year. This book strikes a chord in the heart of people who are tired of the law not protecting children from true-life monsters. Besides that, the writing is excellent. You are what so many on this site are striving to be. Backed!

shawshank wrote 1511 days ago

Awesome! i live in California near where a young girl has been missing since Thursday. The police recently arrested a convicted pedophile who had been released from prison. Turns out he meay be responsible for the murder of a girl her last year. This book strikes a chord in the heart of people who are tired of the law not protecting children from true-life monsters. Besides that, the writing is excellent. You are what so many on this site are striving to be. Backed!

Ashley Agony wrote 1511 days ago

This was absolutely amazing. I was glued from the first word, and am defiantly backing this :)

pinkcoffee wrote 1514 days ago

I wish you the very best of luck with your book, I think this is definetly something that should be published... you have a real talent! kind regards pinkcoffee 'In The Moment'

marywood18 wrote 1527 days ago

Brilliant. Well done, you are a master of your craft.

I am sorry, therefore, to note your opening paragraph contains repetition (gloves) and goes into telling mode. When I read it I thought I was in for a walk through of this, but no. The rest is magnificently crafted.

Here is my take on how it could be turned around to kick off in the same vain as you have skilfully crafted into this action-packed, tense, dramatic opening to your novel.

Fog deceives Amber's eye. Its shadow forms, then fades only to form again in a different shape. A chill shivers her body. She quickens her pace. Parched lips cling to her teeth. The sawed off shot-gun digs into the small of her back. A shrug moves her back-pack to her side and eases the discomfort. Her gloved hands bring back some circulation as she rubs her arms and continues on. She imagines hunters riding in the distance. Witnesses who can destroy everything.


I hope you don't think I am being picky, I base my telling you on what I would want to happen for me. I have edited and edited, learnt my craft and teach it to others as well as edit others work, but I miss things in my own novel because I am so close to it, and yes, precious of it, too.

Not so much that I don't welcome being told if there is anything wrong, I do even though it is published as a pod, I hope one day to have it published by a mainstream publisher and need to be ready for that.

I think/hope you are an author that would be of the same mind.

I only had time to read the prologue, but I cannot praise you enough for what you have brought to it. I want to read the book.

Let me know when it is published. My very best wishes, Mary

Tracy McCarthy wrote 1544 days ago

Your writing is outstanding. Poetic yet concise. You incite intense emotions immediately which sucked me straight into the story and made it difficult to stop reading.
Deservedly backed.
Tracy
The Guardians

Paige Pendleton wrote 1550 days ago

Really looking forward to reading this! Thanks for taking this on!

lbstreet wrote 1554 days ago

I loved this story. You drew me in immediately, and slowly give bits of information to keep me needing to read more. I seldom find myself reading a book through in a day or two. This one did that to me. Awesome work!

Paddy Tyrrell wrote 1555 days ago

What a brilliant start. I would definitely buy this if I read those opening pages in a bookshop. Each of the women stands out with a distinctive character and the reader is drawn on to find out more. I see you reached the top spot and wish you every success with this excellent book. A pleasure to back it though not really needed now. Paddy

RonParker wrote 1575 days ago

Hi Sheryl,
Soryy I'm too late to help you to get to the top but you made it anyway.

This is a very bravely wriiten story on a difficult subject. I don't normally like prologues, but in this case it not only suits the story, but the prologue alone will make most people want to continue to read the rest of the book.

Congratulations! Sorry I can't be more constructive, but there's just nothing that needs changing.

Ron

FrancescaPolini wrote 1576 days ago

This is awesome, emotional, gripping, disturbing, incredibly well written...backing with real pleasure.

AlanMarling wrote 1580 days ago

Dear Sheryl J Dunn,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. A great detail to have teeth sticking to lips out of dryness. The detail of finding the shell added to the realism, complimented by the manic cognition of a protagonist trying to convince herself she does right. Your greatest strength lies in your weighing of vigilantism. I enjoyed the movie Mystic River, in which the vigilante gets the wrong person, something that I believe should be depicted more often. Most of the time we see heroes, even superheroes, acting outside the law and being praised for it. You story paints a more complex picture, using the telling “murder” to describe the act at the end of the prelude. This may merit the genre "psychological thriller" because the issue of murder to save children is so gripping. I commend your work.

Bravo! Shelved.

Best wishes,
Alan Marling

quivera-man wrote 1585 days ago

I never dreamed I would keep reading this as long as I did, not being one for mysteries/thrillers. Great premise and asks deep questions for a genre perceived as "escapism." Strong character who is legally a villain but morally a hero? Well deserving of the top ratings.

Morgan S. wrote 1600 days ago

Sheryl-

I know you've already made it to the desk and all that, but I was just fishing around, reading random bits of books, when I stumbled upon yours. I couldn't stop. The kids were crying and I couldn't stop. The family was hungry, but I couldn't stop. :) I love your work--I felt completely transported and intrigued with Amber from the start. What a brave subject you've tackled and I'm so proud of you!!! You are an excellent writer and would love to see you succeed. :) Best of luck! ~Morgan

J. Hamler wrote 1602 days ago

Chapter 1

Gangbuster opening salvo! The writing is tight and exhilirating. I could throw some more superlatives at you, but I think you get the idea. About the only thing I can think to criticize is why are you using underlines instead of italics for Amber's interior monologue?

Bravo. Backed.

Cheers

John

Brandwood wrote 1603 days ago

Hello Sheryl,
This is a remarkable book, gripping, emotional and so well written. Congratulations, and good luck.
Tom Kilcourse

fulton2 wrote 1605 days ago

Sheryl, I can see why this made it to the editor's desk. I have to confess I've had a few of these dark thoughts myself! I hope after your rewrite you find a willing publisher.

Patricia Fulton
ton ton macoute

FJ Watson wrote 1609 days ago

This is wonderfully written, but I don't know if I should like it. I can understand the anger and frustration someone could have at someone who hurts little children. That isn't right, but neither is taking the law into your own hands. I wish the character would concentrate on finding evidence to convict someone. Still very good writing.
FJ Watson

SRFire wrote 1622 days ago

I don't know what to say... This story is so compelling. So painful, so sweet, its almost dangerous. I loved it. Sana

Linda Lou wrote 1623 days ago

Interesting.I have written professionally for a colleagues encyclopedia of violent crime and murder. It was a chapter addressing the use of the internet by pedophiles to trap their victims. It also addressed pedophiles who will morph children into sexual pictures to post on those web sites for pedo's. Sick, huh? Good read. Don't forget to check mine out, Southern dis-Comfort. It is true life.

S.D. Gillen wrote 1635 days ago

Whew! I don't think I breathed through the whole thing! I was with her the whole way through. I think my stomach hurts along with hers. :)
Congrats on this. Very tough subject. I think you could write anything though. Very gifted.
SD Gillen

SareyFairy wrote 1637 days ago

Sheryl.
This book is amazingly written. You are a great writer.
The book grips you from the first paragraph and you just keep on reading knowing and hoping that she will go through with it. You are sensitive in writing about this very difficult topic and you write in such detail it is hard not to want to read on.
Congratulations on getting this book to the top although it has done so because it rightly deserves to be there.
Sarah. T-cup and The Dream Team Fairies

LadySilence wrote 1640 days ago

Beautiful writing for a not-so-beautiful topic. Your writing flows extremely well, and the passion in the story is tangible. Intriguing enough to want to keep reading, and I'm disappointed that you've only posted up through chapter 7. Thanks for suggesting the read swap way back when!
Backed, and let me know when you've published!

~Karilyn
Garden of Souls

fifi wrote 1641 days ago

Very well written & paced, I have no appetite to read more than the first chapter due to the subject matter, but I'm sure if that's anything to go by the rest will be excellent. See you made the eds desk, well done, & good luck with it.

Indulgance wrote 1643 days ago

Love your pitch and your first chapters would turn this non crime/thriller reader into one... for the duration of your book at least. I think you should be up there with the best and pushing out the worst. Best of luck with it. Backed. And many thanks for your kind words, I'm not the best editor so will not even attempt to comment on your book. Ray Ronan. HISTORIAN.

Nick VDL wrote 1643 days ago

Beautiful opening with the fog, sets the scene and the theme beautifully.

Like 'fetid whiffs'...

Very realistic and easy to read, but worried at the end of the first chapter that it was too easy for her. It's a heinous act, murder, and to be brutally realistic, and credible, your character has got to be really confused and clumsy and basically losing it. Although the Barbie anecdote works, not sure if it works this early on. There's a sneaky sense of anti-man hatred, and you want her to come across as someone who is almost hyterical, who considers herself a victim. That it's almost self defense. To start off with. Otherwise you might not get the necessary sympathy and buy in you want. The first half I totally bought into it [of chapter 1] but by the second half I wondered whether she was becoming the monster. To justify that I think there must be a stronger link to what happened to her...did her father abuse her...does this guy look like her father...but something to unsettle her mind initially. If she can commit this first crime in a fairly cool fashion, that's troubling.

flicka wrote 1648 days ago

This is gripping emotive stuff. And gripping emotive writing. I was captured from the start by this disturbing novel. This is nothing short of brilliant. How brave of you to write this though. I really hope you didn't choose to write it from your own or someone you know's childhood experiences.
Backed
Flicka

peekaboo_boy wrote 1653 days ago

Hey Sheryl, thanks for stopping by and for the backing.

No salt needed. Yours are the comments I crave. If I don't get them, I feel like I'm learning nothing new. And if I'm learning nothing new, the manuscript won't get any better. I obsessively seek out criticism, which I suppose, makes me a masochist in a way.

Anyway, as for HC not feeling this book is suitable for publication, I have to say that's a shame. I was moved to write you this message because I actually have a similar concept swimming around in my noggin'. The material itself, though (yours), is so polished and so properly put-together in relation to the subject matter. The introduction is a quick one, and engaging. The dialogue and italicized MC thoughts are well conceived.

I'd back it if it weren't already starred. It's this kind of stuff that inspires me and keeps me writing, letting me know it's okay to be the intense person that I am, and letting that intensity bleed into my writing.

Thank you for the opportunity. :)

Jambi wrote 1656 days ago

Sheryl,
Although you've already made the HC desk, I wanted to read a little. Wow, chilling. Gives plenty of food for thought.
Jambi
Fringe of Darkness

Jambi wrote 1656 days ago

Sheryl,
Although you've already made the HC desk, I wanted to read a little. Wow, chilling. Gives plenty of food for thought.
Jambi
Fringe of Darkness

TJONES wrote 1660 days ago

I read the first few chapters of your book and I think your style of writing is great. I did have to question about the magazines also, do they exist, and who and how they got published. I would think I could belive he was carrying about a photo album of all his victims or something like that. I think is book is something I would pick off the shelf at the local Barnes and Nobles to read. Keeping trying to get this published. Good luck.

TJONES wrote 1661 days ago

I came across your book and review. Just remember no matter what the review said, you started something from a thought and created a book. That is a joy in itself. There are alot more publishers out there to take on this book, don't let one review get you down. We have a saying here in Texas we like to say, "What goes around comes around." and someday this publisher will see you on the shelves at a bookstore and say, 'Man we should have gotten her when we had the chance.' Stay Strong.

I'm putting your book on my list to read.

Penny J wrote 1662 days ago

Just finished reading your story.
It's great. I like the ideas behind why they are doing it because they are so relateable. I also like how you have made it so that two of the characters have had that experience therefore giving them an even "better" reason do what they do.
I would have liked to have had more information about how the other two felt about Robin's death and about what they did after it. But you just concentrated on Amber and David.
However, I'm very glad I got to read this book and I hope to see it on the shelves of all the good bookstores one day. :)

Penny
x

RWGOOD wrote 1664 days ago

Hi Sheryl.
Not a bad job at all. I can see using Wayne and his coworkers was well worth the effort. But..... and this is the difference between lab people and a field investigator. You left the box of shells behind without Devlin's fingerprints. I'm going to assume when you purchased the shells or acquired them in some way you werent wearing gloves. Which means your prints are on the box and not his. A glaring mistake to make. you are right about a forensic investigator with blood spatter seeing the gap in the pattern and that would be a huge question needing an answer. I like the fact that you put his prints on the two shells. We always look for prints on the shells in the weapon, clip, magazine. But again, we look at the box if its there. With those two discrepencies in the scene, a good investigator would label it homicide until otherwise determined.
I havent read further so i dont know if you've answered these in the following chapters or if you are using them for your investigator(s) to home in on the woman. all in all, great work. people who commit crimes have tonnes of adrenalyn pumping through their body which can hinder the logical thought process. You may have left a hair or several on his clothing. And the puncture wound from the dart would be visible during a Post Mortem examination. Your use of Ketamine is inventive to say the least. It is used as a recreational drug and considered in Canada to be a Narcotic (see schedule 1 of the criminal code). It is used in some medical cases as an anaesthetci and there are many ongoing experiments and studies for other medicinal uses. I have come across some overdoses with Ketamine and it can be detected in the body especially if cardian arrest occurs quickly, as in your blowing his head off.
Very interesting start to your story and i'll be coming back to read the rest. Well done.
Richard

Sly80 wrote 1669 days ago

Atmospheric opening, crammed with tension ... pour resin round their souls. Detailed planning by Amber, strong emotions. Then back in time, and we see Amber as a bit of a nervous wreck (and we can guess why). Nice scenes with her and her husband, developing her complex character.

Cassie's chapter 'feels' Texan and she oozes automobile out of her pores. Excellent use of close POV. 'sounded just like her mother' LOL. Dark hints about what was done to Cassie, and what Cassie had done, until we learn the truth. Then Robin and David talk, bringing us up to speed on the subject.

I can see this being controversial, due to the emotive issues and the vigilante theme, but those will also appeal to many readers. The writing is clever and polished, with good variations in pace and tension. The plot ... victims turning into criminals ... but will that turn right back on them? On the shelf, even if it doesn't add any points.

Lorri wrote 1670 days ago

Because of how the watchlist is ordered I missed you on my list as being next because your book is in the middle, but I’d bumped you up to the place you should have been in on my watchlist thread. Anyways, thing is I just reviewed a book and realised yours should have been the next up so here I am.

I’ve deliberately not read any of the comments on your book and I write as I read, so I may mention something that you clear up a few sentences later.

Here goes.

Prologue

Nice start, well written. Good hook in. I’m interested right away and want to read on.

Another paragraph that starts with ‘Fog’. I’d change one of them up a bit. The visual is good though.
So I’m guessing from what I’m reading as she shoots him, that Amber was abused by this guy in the past and is out for revenge of some sort. Makes me want to read on. Yup, looks like that’s what it was.

I like the tension, you’re building it really well. I can feel the nervousness with her

Wow, powerful.

Nice catch on the splatter pattern.

We’re right in with Amber’s emotions. Nervous, panic, pain, it’s all there.

Great prologue. Makes me wonder if she’s gonna go hunting for others.

Ok, we’re back three years.

I’m thrown out of the story by the oven. If Amber was up looking in her closet, then taking a shower, when did she put the muffins in the oven? Did she do this before she picked out her clothes and had a shower? If so, maybe make a reference to it before she hits the shower. As a reader it threw me out of the story.

Why didn’t David ‘deserve those weeks’? I’m guessing because he’s abusing her, but that line in this position, in this chapter doesn’t make sense to me as I’m reading it, Yes her period is due in a week, so what does ‘Why Today’ refer to? Why today did she burn the muffins? How does that relate to David not deserving those weeks. What weeks, the period free weeks? Sorry, this paragraph has confused me.

Uhmmm… is this a good David? Not the evil David who abused her as a child? Her affection for him is confusing me. Ahhh I went back to the prologue. I was confusing David with Devlin. But this confusion took me out of the story to go check. Now it could just be that I don’t make name connections that well and anyone else would be fine, but it could also be that the names are too similar. Something to think about maybe. I don’t alter my thoughts as I write, so this is my running commentary of how the story appears to me as I read.

Hmm… she talks about David being so good, a protector, then why is she so worried about what clothes she wears? It seems as though he doesn’t like certain clothes so she wears them when he’s not around? Maybe this is a left over feeling she has from years back. Just a thought that occurred to me. Reading on.

Was Devlin her father? It seems so.

Next chapter.

So far great, but the sentences, “Dear old Mama didn’t get up to hug her even though they hadn’t seen each other in over a month. This was to be expected, but never was.” felt awkward. The first sentence was fine, but the second one, although I figured out what you meant, it jarred with me.

The last line of the second to last paragraph confused me. I think I know what you mean, but I’m not entirely sure.

This is good. Yes, the subject matter is not for all, and I would imagine we will get a little more graphic detail as you read on, but as a thriller, it works on all counts

I could see me buying this book and reading it to the end.

I’ll be backing it.

Lorrii

Mike Riley wrote 1670 days ago

Great stuff. I won't read on I'll wait for the paperback
Mike

Bezukhov wrote 1672 days ago

When your eye alights on truly talented writing, you know it. A bell goes off. As it did when I started reading your novel. And it had nothing to do with the fact that I came within inches of death twice in the very forest of your first scene. This novel deserves its place and I'm going to keep reading it. I'm thrilled that you backed mine. I suppose I'll save my backing for the more needy at the moment, but I don't really want to in this case. Thanks.

Clare Stephen wrote 1675 days ago

Really nicely done. Gripping from the start and manages to maintain the suspense. On my shelf.

Clare Stephen (Second Lives)

Jesselowe wrote 1683 days ago

This is great fiction, filled with suspense, and plot events that couldn't be anticipated, even by someone who has read many crime stories - real and fictional - and tries to second-guess every clue. This story would make an outstanding motion picture.