Periscope Depth

I don’t know you, you don’t know me

This week I finished writing a novel.

If you’ve known me a few years, that’s not news. I’ve finished several novels. I average about one a year. What makes this different, though, is that this is the first novel I’ve put concerted effort into revising.

This week I finished the third draft of a novel. I brought it from 55,000 down to 52,000 words, and then up to 67,000. I followed up on all the notes I’d left. I read and re-read until I found myself making fiddly little changes just for the sake of making them.

Now I need your help. I need beta readers who can take a look at this penultimate draft and give me honest feedback.

What am I looking for in a beta reader?

  • Someone who can read a short novel in two to four weeks.

  • Someone who’s comfortable giving honest feedback. I don’t want line-by-line corrections (though if you find lots of grammatical errors, let me know). I want a sense of what you liked and what you didn’t.

  • Someone who has some familiarity and comfort with the thriller genre. You don’t need to be the world’s biggest Harlan Coben fan, for example, but if you consider the thriller genre to be irredeemable trash, this book won’t appeal to you.

  • OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY VALUED: Someone who has some familiarity with the law, journalism or the city of Boston.

If this sounds like you, please let me know via comment (I’ll see your e-mail address) or e-mailing me (perich AT

And thank you either way. Thank you either for volunteering to read something I’ve made or for simply understanding and supporting me while I’ve worked on it. I talk a lot about how lonely a calling art is. It’s always comforting (and surprising!) to know that when I leave my desk, I still have friends waiting outside.

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