Friday, January 20, 2012

January Test Run #3


In that colorless time right before sunset, in the woods bordering the fairway, there was a glint, a flash of light, and the sound of someone struggling. The following morning, behind the country club pool house, they found a young woman beaten so badly she was unrecognizable.

It was twelve years before anyone knew who really killed her.

My name is Patty Henry, and this is the story my grandfather told me about hisfriends Kurt and Charlie and the murder of Catherine Block at Rosewood Hills Country Club on October 24, 1920.


At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a tremendous sense of well-being and satisfaction in the United States and especially in Akron, Ohio, the fastest growing city in the country. After Henry Ford’s 1905 deal with Harvey Firestone to supply tires for his Model-A cars, the rubber industry was booming, and each day hundreds of immigrants and “barefoot people”—the poor from West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee--arrived at the railroad station. In the decade from 1910 to 1920 Akron’s population exploded, growing by over sixty percent to 208,000.

Grandpa said, “Those were the days when it was important to be better with your hands than with your mind.”


  1. First off, I love how your story starts off. I know some people don't especially love prologues, but in this instance, I think you rocked it. Your writing is beautiful, especially in the first paragraph; very descriptive, but not overly done.

    No critique here...I wish I could read on. The only thing I do wonder, though, is the genre. I'm curious if Patty is rehashing the story as a teen or an adult. Heck, for all I know, it could be memoir.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. The genre is historical fiction/mystery

  2. The first paragraph is great, the line after that is really intriguing, and there's a nice hint of character after that. Like the above comment I would like a tiny bit more voice to see the age/voice of the speaker, but that's it. This is great. : )

  3. I love it and would read more to see where you take this. I'm a prologuer (is that a word-haha) as well. In the right story I think they do help readers understand.

    I enjoyed this. Eloquent, beautiful words. AWESOME job!

  4. Love the prologue. Trying to do the math - Catherine was murdered on October 24, 1920 adding twelve years before finding out who killed her, would make it 1931. We begin telling the story in 1914, which is six years before the murder. How old was grandpa when this murder happened? Catherine was a young women. Were the men older? I would like a hint/explanation as to why grandpa would tell such a story to his granddaughter. How old was Patty when grandpa shared the story? The voice changes when the story starts, leading me to believe Patty is telling the story as an adult, but taking the reader back to 1914. The writing is beautiful and I'm hooked. I would read more.

    1. The Prologue should be labeled "1920" (got lost in the email I suppose).

      Story begins 1914 (4 chapters) to show the characters as children, and then follows linearly from 1920 to 1932.

      Patty is an adult when she tells her grandfather's story.

    2. Changed the end of the prologue to read as follows:

      My name is Patty Henry. I’m sixty years old, and this is the story my grandfather told me thirty years ago about his friends Kurt and Charlie and the murder of Catherine Block at Rosewood Hills Country Club on October 24, 1920.