You're getting some good suggestions for the query! I wanted to give you some feedback, too, but my feedback is kind of unsolicited. Some of the stuff surrounding the mental health issues sounds rather unrealistic, which can sometimes set you back if you query an agent who knows her psych. So even though it might be frustrating to get some of this feedback, I hope it will be helpful!
“I’m coming after you.” The new email from the demented Dr. Willard sits in Sylvie Greenwood’s Inbox. Twenty four hours earlier she escaped from his psychiatric ward and assumed he was dead. During a therapy session she had drugged him and left him comatose, on his couch, while she rigged an explosion that ignited the ventilation system. The hospital and Willard burned as she ran and had her first taste of freedom since cutting her wrists six months earlier.
Dr. Evil is one of the 4 types of therapists writers typically create; I think the challenge of a Dr. Evil is to make him/her unique.
First, Dr. Willard must indeed be demented if he's sending Sylvie emails -- paper trail!
At twenty two, with a new degree in chemistry, she was committed to a long term care facility against her will. The twisted Dr. Willard purposely misdiagnosed her depression and declared she was a delusional schizophrenic. Sylvie was remanded to his care. Powerless in the face of his authority, Sylvie vowed to make him pay.
There's no such diagnosis as delusional schizophrenia. Delusions are a symptom of schizophrenia, but the types we diagnose are paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, or undifferentiated. Or you can just call it "schizophrenia."
I'm also not sure why he'd say she had schizophrenia when he could just say she had a psychotic depression -- that does happen, though typically the delusions are congruent with the mood symptoms, so it kind of depends on what type of delusions she supposedly has. Someone with bipolar disorder may have unusual delusions in the manic phase, though.
Or Dr. Willard could just say she has a delusional disorder. If she doesn't have hallucinations, she would diagnosed with a delusional disorder UNLESS the delusions are bizarre (ie they couldn't possibly happen in the world as we know it -- alien abductions, people being replaced with doppelgangers). If someone truly has bizarre delusions, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is given.
But if she had mood symptoms to begin with (and people with mood disorders are far more likely than people with schizophrenia to slit their wrists), you have to diagnose the mood disorder too. When someone has a mood disorder AND schizophrenia, they are diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. (My favorite movie example of schizoaffective disorder is Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.)
My next concern is that she was committed to a long-term care facility. Typically the only way someone can stay in a hospital long-term (ie on a psychiatric floor) is if they are an immediate
danger to themselves or others. And even then, they usually only stay for 72 hours. Even if someone has delusions and schizophrenia, they can't be kept long-term. And even someone who's dangerous to self or others isn't constantly a danger.
Then...there's a BIG staff of people that works in any psychiatric ward. Multiple psychologists and psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and so on... How did Dr. Willard fool all of them? Especially if he's diagnosing her with something that has nothing to do with her real diagnosis.
Finally, she actually sounds like she should be institutionalized to me. 1) She slit her wrists. 2) She thinks her Dr. is evil when what he's supposedly pulled off isn't really feasible. 3) She just tried to kill someone.
Now, just when she thinks she’s had her revenge and found freedom, her world shatters. She must regroup, plan and strike again. Willard must die. Sylvie cannot fail. Her future and sanity are at stake.
This is more of a query-letter feedback remark -- What does "her world shatters" mean? We don't know how or why.
Also, why is she going back after Willard, rather than just running away?
MADNESS, a work in women’s fiction is complete at 90,000 words. It chronicles the crack-up of Sylvie Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, madly in love and on the run – slowly losing her mind, with a trail of bodies in her wake.
Sylvie Greenwood is sitting in her padded room, thirteen steps from the observation window, waiting. Once the nurse passes by, she has 180 seconds to use the key she has stolen to unlock her door and run to her therapist’s office. If all goes according to plan, the doctor will be dead and she will escape in less than an hour. It will be her first taste of freedom since cutting her wrists six months earlier.
The rooms aren't padded. Really. There are quiet rooms, or isolation rooms, but people are only put in them as a last resort, and they're monitored while they're in there.
With regards to people checking on the patients, a round is usually more like 10 or 15 minutes.
You never say why she cut her wrists in the first place.
Now is her moment. Her roommate is in position, at a therapy session, and should have already slipped the ground up pills into Willard’s drink. Sylvie is going to leave him comatose, on his couch, while she rigs an explosion that ignites the ventilation system. The hospital and Willard will burn as she runs. She cannot fail. Her future and sanity are at stake. But what if all doesn’t go according to plan? What if Willard survives?
Where in heaven's name did she get the pills? She wasn't taking her own meds? What is she taking that will dope her up so much? The only thing I can think of is something like trazodone, which is an antidepressant sometimes used as a sleep aid for people who can't sleep due to their other antidepressants. Believe me, someone would notice if she wasn't taking them. Plus, those things are bitter as all get-out, so Dr. Willard would taste it in his coffee the second he took a sip.
If any of that doesn't make sense, let me know. I was just kind of rambling.
Someone else made a good point that a lot of this does sound like backstory rather than what happens in the story itself, but what you've got certainly sounds interesting!