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hi Richard,

Jon's already given you some very good detailed feedback, and I'm a novice writer so I wouldn't want to steer you wrong on any technicalities, so I'll provide some general comments as a reader:

I read this 'cold' without paying any attention to the genre or to the other comments. The first part was interesting, and I got a good impression of the busy street before Christmas.  I was confused as to why the cop was so concerned about the boy being on his own, because where I live, in that decade even little kids were allowed to roam around all day without any supervision. Maybe you could hint at the cop's gut feeling that something is wrong a bit earlier in the story, or maybe the boy is very young or looks particularly vulnerable.

There are occasional phrases that seem a bit out of place, though I lack the experience to tell you why, and this might just be the way my brain works! examples are 'milling throng' and 'inordinate amount of time'.

I started paying more attention when the FBI was introduced - and I realised that this is my kind of story :). I'm interested to know what happens next.

Also, hello from a fellow Engineer (and I am not far behind you on age). I'm in aerospace - been an odd few months, given how the pandemic has affected the fleets. 

    • HI MIr, thanks for taking the time to read my first chapter. The novel is complete, just working my way through the editing process. Yes milling throng needs re-working and maybe one or two others as well. As for the cop's concern. I should have mentioned the boy was locked out of the car that may have aroused the cop's suspicions. This is the second novel in a trilogy. And the last chapter of the first book maybe should have been the first of this one. It gives a clearer picture of Gretchen's dilemma. 

       Now it's in the hands of the F.B.I. a torn envelope may seal Gretchen's  fate. Inside Photos of the boy beaten black and blue and an accompanying letter addressed to Reinhard Heydrich's wife, threaten dire consequences if they do not co-operate. Heydrich the architect of Hitler's assassination and vice chancellor of Germany wanted revenge. The woman had kidnapped his son and nobody humiliated him and lived to tell the tale. That bastard had murdered Dieter, and this time Gretchen would not fail. An innocuous cornfield in Iowa may hold the key to the future.      

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