So here are some reasons I’ve stopped reading recent books:
- The investigator thought about how the dead man’s shirt was bought to accommodate his “expanding girth.” The investigator knew nothing about the dead man. Perhaps he had always been fat. So the word "expanding" was a big leap. I think the author probably knew that the character had recently gained weight.
- The main character caught sight of his reflection in a store window and described how he looked. Too much of a cliché.
- A dead body is found at work. As the other employees come into work, the police allow them to gather around the body (and thus contaminate evidence). I don't think so.
- I was introduced to fifteen characters in the first ten pages. It was overwhelming.
Before you send your book off to an agent or editor who is deciding whether to take you on, read and re-read those first twenty or so pages and make sure they are perfect! Don't give anyone an excuse to reject your book.