Monday, 22 October 2012


Name: Fiona McLaren
Genre: YA Gothic Horror
Word count: 60,000


The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Labyrinth for teens. When seventeen-year-old Dillan's friend is sucked through the stonework of Overtoun Bridge and into a terrifying labyrinth run by Jack the Ripper, Dillan decides to plunge after her. When he does, he discovers he has more than serial killers to deal with, because there is someone trying to steal his soul.


They say a man threw his baby off the Overtoun Bridge.


They say a man threw his baby off the Overtoun Bridge. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I hover in the frost-bitten undergrowth, peering between the gaps in the brambles and briar at the high-vaulted arches wreathed in trails of mist. It’s early out, the newly risen sun glancing off the upper parapets. But it doesn’t reach any further than that. The curdling sound of the gorge river below eats at the morning like a cancer and the smell of decaying plant-life is everywhere.

I call Brady to my side with a sharp whistle. ‘Here, boy.’

There’s a rustling in the bushes. A set of pricked, white ears appear amongst the swaying long grass.

‘Brady, heel.’

One ear flicks towards me, then almost immediately locks forward again.

‘Come, boy,’ I say again.

My tone is sharp enough to startle a crow from its nesting place, but Brady knows it’s only to make sure he doesn’t get himself in trouble. The bird glides into the grey sky, its black wings beating a rhythmic thud, circling, circling, circling. It perches on top of the bridge, its dark feathers slick as oil. I stare at it, transfixed. It caws again. A shudder runs through me and I drag my eyes away.

‘Brady, here. Now.’

It’s unlike him not to come to my call. He stands, legs metal-straight, tail pointed and quivering. His eyes are on the crow.

**Please remember, only participating agents should comment on these posts for the duration of the contest. Any other comments, including requests from agents who aren't participating in Hook, Line & Sinker, are welcome AFTER the contest closes at 7pm EDT on Wednesday.


  1. I keep coming back to this entry and being swayed by "gothic horror," so I think I need to take a closer look! Can you please paste your full query into the body of an email & attach the first 3 chapters as a Word .doc to Please put "HLandS Contest" in the subject line. Thanks!

  2. Three times I've read this, three times I've longed for more. Please send your first three chapters and synopsis to: Terrie(at)akaliteraryllc(dot)com (attachments are best). Also, address as: HL&S Entry #12 - Overtoun Bridge.



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