The first draft of “Syndrome”, the sequel to “The Mentor”, is complete

Just about a week ago I completed the first draft of “Syndrome”, after a little more than fifty days from when I started writing it (the first 51 thousand words were written during the NaNoWriMo). The manuscript is now almost 80 thousand words long.
As I typed the last word, I was really happy, not only because I was done with it, but mainly because I adored (and still adore) the ending of the novel.

“Syndrome” is darker than “The Mentor”. The main character, Detective Eric Shaw, must face two different cases in a few days, which are independent but somehow involve him. In the meantime he is living a very complicated personal situation. Twenty-one months after the terrible discovery at the end of “The Mentor”, Eric must keep a secret that ties him to a difficult relationship with his “pupil”. He feels imprisoned, even if only psychologically, and at the same time he is unable to escape. He can’t, but he doesn’t want to either.
Amongst his attempts to get distracted from his condition is his affair with an old girlfriend coming from the past, Doctor Catherine Foulger, the head physician in the paediatrics ward of a hospital in London. This choice will summon up events he thought were buried in his memory and because of which he still feels remorse after decades.
And there are those two cases. In the first one, a nurse working with Foulger accuses a mother to be responsible of the worsening of her own child. Meantime someone is torturing and killing some drug dealers.
In a few days Eric will have to find the culprits and try to take control of his own life. Will he succeed?

I’m really satisfied of this first draft. I succeeded in taking the main plot thread (the mentor-pupil relationship) in the direction I wanted to, in a credible way (hopefully).
Moreover I had the chance to exploit some ideas I had “seeded”, unknowingly, in the first book; it was like the characters already knew what I still had to invent.
There are also some tourist scenes, with famous places becoming the setting of crimes and chases.
The atypical and open ending (remember: these books aren’t mysteries, but crime thrillers!) introduces the reader to what will happen in the final book, whose provisional title is “Beyond the Limit”. A revelation to the main character, pertaining something that the reader is able to guess a couple of scenes earlier, is followed by a little twist in the very last page, which defines an unexpected evolution of the character and project him to the third book.

Do you want some numbers?
Syndrome” includes 13 killed characters (!), a little less than 80 thousands words, 9 chapters, and the story, except the first scene, occurs in 6 days.


Learn more about The Mentor” in the following articles:
I’m Italian, so why is “The Mentor” set in London?