Ever since his wife was murdered two years before, Darrell Williams has cared only about keeping his four-year old daughter safe, but doing so is becoming increasingly difficult even in his isolated riverside home. Nine years have passed since the undead grey men first appeared and ended civilization, and while most of the scattered remaining humans have settled into a routine of bare survival in small towns, the order of Darrell’s life never quite recovered. When everyone else in the town near his home is killed in an unexpectedly coordinated attack by the grey men, he and his daughter flee to Alden Ridge, where they are welcomed because Darrell was once a doctor.
Together with Elaine Ward and the other few inhabitants of an old factory on the outskirts of town, Darrell hopes he can finally create a good life for his daughter. But the grey men in the wilderness around Alden Ridge are becoming more aggressive and violent, and it is clear that the town will soon fall. Darrell and Elaine do their best to try to hold the people together, but the situation deteriorates even further when two men claiming to be military scouts arrive in town—they say theirs is a mission of aid, but Darrell believes they were involved in his wife’s murder. Darrell and Elaine’s only hope of saving Alden Ridge is to somehow discover the secrets behind the rise of the grey men and the fall of the modern world.
Thoughts? Suggestions? These are the questions that I'm most conscious of:
1) Is it still too much like a synopsis?
2) Do you get enough of a sense of Darrell's character?
3) Does Darrell seem more heroic in this version?
4) Does it bug you that I reveal next to nothing about Elaine?
5) Does the last line need a better transition from the one before it?
6) Is there any place where it just seems like I didn't give enough info?
7) Does any part of it (first paragraph in particular) still seem too much like lead-up?
8) Do you get enough sense of the setting?
9) Anything else that rubs you the wrong way?
10) Finally: Does this seem like a genuine improvement over my old hook, or is it just different?
All comments are much appreciated.
UPDATE #1: This has been slightly revised after some awesome comments at FFF.
UPDATE #2: This has been revised again for clarity in a few places based on some more great comments at FFF, and the last paragraph has also been tightened a bit in response to excellent feedback from Rachel Olivier.