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Hi. I've just rewritten my synopsis and cover letter (below) and would be very grateful for feedback. Thanks.


Angels and Acerolas: A Domestic Noir with a thriller thread - 85,000 words

A privileged Sao Paulo couple are on the cusp of success when a bizarre accident and resultant death unravel the soiled tapestry of their charmed existence.

Gina Meinhard is a self-obsessed businesswoman grieving for her lost IVF twins. She is emotionally reliant on ambitious husband Angelo, a brain surgeon and serial womaniser unable to respond to her complex needs. Their adopted daughter, Safi, neglected by both as she readies to begin Uni, determines to break away

In a favela on the other side of town lives their maid Elsa, who travels between the two social worlds never quite distinguishing between reality and soap-opera. She has a close friend, Bete, whose brother Salvador is in urgent need of money, 

Salvador carjacks Gina. Desperate to escape, Gina smashes into the Mayor’s car, injuring his daughter. Arriving home in a panic with Salvador’s body hanging from her side window, she persuades Angelo to dump the body. Salvador is later found comatose and a shocked Angelo is called in to operate. At the hospital he meets and falls for Bete. He also meets the disquieting Inspector Menezes who the Mayor has sent to find the hit and run driver who injured his daughter.

Into the mounting chaos steps an unsuspecting Joe Seed, Angelo’s aloof US colleague. Gina, yearning for both affection and escape, starts an affair with Joe while the besotted Angelo chases Bete. The rebellious Safi, who plans to leave home to live with her lesbian girlfriend Tami, discovers and uploads a sex-video of Joe and Gina, hoping for teenage revenge. Meanwhile, Salvador has died. Bete blames Angelo, rejects his romantic fantasies and finally throws him out.

From various clues, a distraught Elsa suspects Gina in the death of Salvador and decides to confront her. But Gina discovers that as teens in the house of Angelo’s mother, Elsa and Angelo had a baby and had it adopted and so it is she, with the premonition that her life and her marriage are falling apart, who confronts Elsa. Meanwhile, Menezes has made Bete admit to riding pillion during Gina’s carjack. He takes her to the Meinhards to identify Gina but an enraged Gina has already left to confront Angelo. At the house, the cynical inspector discovers Salvador’s gun, the final evidence he needs. He drives Elsa and Bete back to Angelo’s clinic.

Safi gets up her nerve to tell her father she’s leaving home to move in with her lover, Tami. At that moment, Gina arrives in a rage, attacks and threatens to ruin Angelo. In defence of her father, Safi shows the sex video of Gina and Joe and all the family secrets come out. Shamed, Joe packs his bags. Menezes arrives. Bete identifies Gina and accuses Angelo of killing Salvador during surgery to protect her. But Inspector Menezes is only concerned to charge Gina, who is required to make her deposition later. He drives Bete and Elsa away to take their statements.

Left alone, their lives in tatters, Angelo and Gina attempt an empty reconciliation and one last secret is revealed. For seventeen years, the bigoted Gina has been raising her own maid’s daughter. Meanwhile, Safi, unaware of all this, has escaped to chart her own path.


AA Cover Letter

To S A of ****

Dear S A,

I am seeking representation for Angels and Acerolas, a contemporary thriller/domestic noir set in Sao Paulo.

When life is hollow, can it stand the blows?

A privileged Sao Paulo couple are on the cusp of success. A bizarre accident unravels their charmed existence, entangling them in unintended consequences. As the complexities of their affairs draws to an explosive conclusion, only their adopted daughter Safi may discover some semblance of reality, before everything implodes.

Undercut with humour and social critique, Angels is inspired by my ten years in Brazil, helping give distinctive voice and evocate the sweet sadness of Sao Paulo. The novel will appeal to fans of the domestic thriller, ‘The Couple Next Door,’ by Shari Lapena, and of ‘Heliopolis,’ by James Scudamore, in which the ‘tale of two cities’ aspect of Sao Paulo is faithfully reflected. Angels combines both themes.

I appreciate (your agency’s) international outlook and openness to new voices and in particular, to your personal interest in family drama, unusual settings and moral dilemmas. I believe this story of haunted lives, social contrast, identity shifts and life-games, set in contemporary Brazil, may fit well on your list.

I am an ex-teacher in literacy and primary education, born in the UK. I previously wrote on politics, education and psychology before turning to fiction.