I am an unpublished writer with a reputable agent (my first novel did not sell, unfortunately). I sent my second novel to my agent 14 weeks ago -- she still hasn't read it. I understand how busy agents are, so I haven't been haunting her with phone calls. In her responses to my (three) emails, she said she'd read the manuscript "soon."
My questions: Does the fact that the agent hasn't/can't get to my novel mean she's not interested in my genre (thrillers) any more or is it just that she's swamped? I feel like she should let me know if it's going to be another month or two before she can get to it. Is that an unreasonable expectation? Short of emailing or calling her every week, what can I say or do to get the ball rolling (if you'll excuse the cliche)? When do I know it's time to start looking for a new agent?
I can't tell you exactly what's going on with your agent. She could be swamped (October and November is the busy season for us), or perhaps she might have something personal going on. However, fourteen weeks is quite a long time, and at this point you definitely deserve an explanation and a realistic deadline for a response, and if this isn't forthcoming or her answers don't satisfy you than it might be time to start looking for a new agent. I would think an email to this effect would get the ball rolling.
Sadly, it's quite possible that the agent took the lack of sale on your first book hard and has simply lost enthusiasm for your work. This is something an agent typically won't want to admit, but it's a reality of life. It could also be possible that she's lost enthusiasm for thrillers generally, but that's more doubtful since it's such a broad category. A more realistic possibility is that she might have lost the passion for your subgenre, whether it be political, legal, international, etc.
I can take a horribly long time to read something, but I don't think I've ever taken fourteen weeks to read one of my client's projects, unless I already have a project out on submission for them and the work is in the same genre.