Monday, 8:11 a.m.
Hartmann drummed his fingers on the desk, glancing quickly at the clock hanging on the opposite wall. Eight eleven. “Come on. Come on,” he shouted into the empty room. “Answer the god damn phone.”
“Federal Aviation Administration. Phil Cruz speaking,” the voice said.
Hartmann breathed a sigh of relief. “Mr. Cruz? This is Special Agent William Hartmann. FBI out of San Francisco. The Deputy Director of the FBI gave me your name. He said you were the only FAA person on the west coast who could change the flight path of a plane already airborne. I need you to do that immediately.”
“Sir, I can’t do that unless …”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Mr. Cruz, but there’s no time for I can’t do that. You’ve got to get that plane back on the ground. There’s a bomb on board.”
Please leave a Reply as to what you thought of the chapter. If it moves you to want to read further, please email me at DennisKollerAuthor@gmail.com and I’ll send you the next few chapters.
21 thoughts on “Chapter 1 – “One Death Too Far””
With very few words, the reader is swept into the action and anticipating “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say. Good job. And “yes,” we want to see where the story goes from this exciting start.
Is this book available? Where can I buy it? The first couple pages has me salivating for more.
Dennis, I like it a lot and believe there’s potential for a good sized print run. When completed I’ll want an autographed copy.
I like the introduction and how you set the stage for the pending drama. Reminds me of John Grisham’s writing style, which I absolutely enjoy.
Dennis, Sure you didn’t learn your language at CMA? Ann and I both read your first chapter, and enjoyed it! Bring it on! Dick
Love it! Can’t wait to read more!!
Dennis – I just read Chapter 1 after reading your first draft a while back. It hooked me just as much this time as the first time. You are an excellent writer and I can see why you received an award for this book.
Immediately grabs my attention!
Thanks, tom. It will be available in book form shortly.
Chapter 1 begins like a NASA rocket takeoff. Characters and story are set in motion. Sentences are well crafted. What a total tease in which I cry out for more. John Mossi, S.J.
Dennis, Loved the first chapter. Can’t wait to read the rest of the novel. Soon your name will be mentioned in the same breath as Connelly, Baldacci. Ludlum and Clancy. Maybe Fr James Martin, SJ also.
The first chapter sets the reader up rather quickly with the plane’s bomb blast.
Who were the men in the cleaning van? bad guys?, FBI?, or some one else? You never know DEA?
send us more
id prefer just technically, to see the first two sentences combined as in .’Impatiently, Hartman drummed his fingers on the desk, (and? maybe not!) glanced at the clock… etc. moves a little more quickly. And I’m just curious as to the procedure – is this the way a real agent would have to call bout an urgent thing like this? Somehow, I hope there is a way that would get through quicker to the proper person and give them verification of the caller’s ID or the call’s importance at the same time- isn’t there? I cross my fingers the real answer is, “Yes!” and this was just to make it more suspenseful, but I’d like to know! And yes, would like to read more!
Thanks for the comments. Very helpful indeed. You are absolutely right about combining the 1st two sentences. You are also right about the procedural question. Technically FBI Agent Hartmann would have called the FAA (only they have the jurisdiction to turn the plane around). Why did I use the VP at SFO? Because thought it would be cleaner, and therefore add to the tension. However, you are not the only one I received push-back from concerning the legitimacy of using a local at SFO. Thanks to the “final” push-back (yours), I am going to change the scene so Hartmann contacts the FAA. Thinking more clearly on the “suspense” angle (which I want to thank you for forcing me to do), I can exact as much tension by using the FAA as I did by using an employee at SFO. MY bad! Thanks for the comments and for being so discerning.
Very intriguing. I have to get this and read it. Didn’t know you had gone into writing Dennis. Congratulations.
I just finished “The Oath”. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You combined the three things I love to read about (San Francisco, Vietnam Nam and police stories) and melded them into one book. Great job. Can’t wait for your next book. Thanks.
Glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun writing it.
Congratulations on your book, Dennis! I read your thoughts on Amazon and couldn’t help but think of what Neil Gaiman said about freebies (and piracy) in the following link:
Of course, this is Neil Gaiman. He has a huge following. But I wonder if it applies?
Wishing you happiness and success,
Thank you so much for the heads-up on Neil’s post. It was super instructive. Keep feeding me thoughts like this. I need all the “mentoring” help I can get.
Dear Mr. Koller, I just finished The OATH. Fantastic read. From start to finish, I didn’t want to put it down. If not forgotten a bing to sleep and other human needs, I know I would completed your Great Novel in one sitting.
I can’t wait to get and read your next offering . !!!
John H. Kuhl, CPCM firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. My next book is in its final (I hope) re-write. It should be ready for human consumption within the next month. Email me and I’ll send you the first four or five chapters. Your input would be helpful.