Banker by Dick Francis

By Dick Francis

Funding banker Tim Ekaterin suggestion arranging the acquisition of a champion racehorse was once a certain thing-but he by no means gambled on getting stuck up in homicide.

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By Dick Francis

Funding banker Tim Ekaterin suggestion arranging the acquisition of a champion racehorse was once a certain thing-but he by no means gambled on getting stuck up in homicide.

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© 1993

Extra info for Banker

Sample text

The gold I got out of Sam Hegg's mine ain't been more than about a hun- 45 How to Write a Damn Good Mystery 46 dred and fifty grand, total, and that ain't no lie. But I've been real careful not to do anything stupid like spend a lot in one place. I sell the nuggets off as I go— telling people I bought them at the bar off guys who bring it in. I'm content, a happy man. I blow my cool and have to beat the crap out of somebody once in a while when I'm acting as a deputy, or in the bar with some drunk, but most of the time I keep a lid on my temper.

I've been in the writing racket for a few decades now and, the horrible truth is, I've never been able to figure out what editors will find mildly interesting story-wise, let alone what will make them flip. I've heard other writers, agents, and even editors say that they know this trend is hot, this other trend is not; that Ideas to Get You Started small-town mysteries, say, are in, hard-boiled are out; that cross-genre books or some such are the next trend, the wave of the future. It's all a bunch of pap.

31 32 How to Write a Damn Good Mystery O u r murderer will be evil. We know a murderer is a mythic "evil one" and an evil one always acts out of his or her own self-interest. An evil one is the golden star at the center of his or her own universe. Our murderer will be self­ ish. Sure, we've all read books in which the murderer does the deed for a good cause, heroically, but this motif almost always results in a weak climax. " If the murderer is not acting out of his or her own self-interest and instead is self-sacrificing and acting heroically, the reader is robbed of this satisfaction, which is, after all, one of the principal reasons the reader bought the book in the first place.

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