Primed for Revenge, Sydney Jones Series
ACTION CRIME DRAMA ROMANCE ADVENTURE DETECTIVE MYSTERY SUSPENSE / THRILLER
REVENGE, REBUILDING LIFE
SYDNEY JONES. 32. PROTAGONIST. SMART, CHARMING, NAIVE, LONELY, COURAGEOUS.
JUDITH GARNER. 34. ANTAGONIST. FORMER COLLEAGUES AT BIRDMAN&BIRDMAN. PRETENDS TO BE A FRIEND AND GETS CLOSE TO SYDNEY IN ORDER TO STEAL HER MONEY.
DUANE NELSON. 36. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. IS HIRED BY JUDITH TO INVESTIGATE SYDNEY'S DISAPPEARING. GETS CLOSER TO SYDNEY WITH SECOND INTENTIONS.
DAN WALKER. 36. IS HIRED BY SYDNEY TO BE HER BODYGUARD AND TAKE CARE OF HER SAFETY. ENDS UP BECOMING HER PARTNER.
MITCH BARNES. 40-50'S. CRIMINAL. BEAT AND RAPED SYDNEY WHEN HIRED TO KIDNAP HER. ENDED UP BEING KILLED BY SYDNEY ON A LAST ATTEMPT TO INVADE HER HOUSE.
JOHN ROUTH. 60-70'S. PSYCHIATRIST AND SYDNEY'S THERAPIST. HELPS SYDNEY REGAINING MEMORY AFTER AMNESIA.
Her success should be the pinnacle of her career. She never expected it to threaten her life… Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.
Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Next Chapter - NOTE - This is an unpublished revised edition!
Year Published: 2019
Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman. Leaving the office, she was swiftly kidnapped and taken to her assailants’ hideaway, beaten, and raped.
Tapped for a crime once nudged her toward caution for something afoul was going on at Birdman & Birdman. She prepared for a fight. With a vision of fury, she made a chilling decision — never to be a victim again.
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Extreme Violence,Sexual Abuse
Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Sydney Jones
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Sexy,Confident,Skillful,Flexible,Gracious,Romantic,Heartthrob,Educated,Seductive,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Naive
Additional Character Details
Name: Dan Walker
Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Charming,Complex,Confident,Sexy,Patriotic,Decisive,Skillful,Flexible,Heartthrob,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Lone Wolf,Badass,Faithful,Romantic,Honorable
Additional Character Details
Name: Judith Garner
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Narcisstic,Confident,Criminal,Decisive,Desperate,Engaging,Flexible,Visionary,Greedy,Heartthrob,Secretive,Educated,Unapologetic,Sexy,Power Hungry,Skillful,Seductive,Underdog,Outspoken
Additional Character Details
Name: Duane Nelson
Key Traits: Underdog,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Aggressive,Criminal,Power Hungry,Unapologetic
What’s there to know about Sydney? Glamour. Prestige. Privilege. Betrayal. Revenge – hers. Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman. Leaving the office, she was swiftly kidnapped and taken to her assailants’ hideaway, beaten, and raped. With no memory of whom she was has put her at a disadvantage with her captors. Through gritted teeth, she promised a day of repercussions for their actions while mentally visualizing her revenge. Warned by her assailants to keep her mouth shut or else, she was delivered to her home. Not recognizing her former living quarters, she was careful in exploring her options for regaining her memory. Piecing together the reasons for her kidnapping brought her into contact with people, some she could trust and others risky. The problem was the amnesia prevented her from recognizing the difference. Tapped for a crime once nudged her toward caution for something afoul was going on at Birdman & Birdman. She prepared for a fight. With a vision of fury, she made a chilling decision — never to be a victim again. ###
ACTION, DRAMA, ROMANCE
Sydney Jones is a successful lawyer assigned to a case that gets her kidnapped and raped. Luckily she escapes but with no memory of her former life. As Sydney gets her memories back she sets up a new and improved version of her old life by starting her own firm. Unfortunately she can't trust anyone who tries to get close to her besides her bodyguard and therapist.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile has repeated information in the logline and short summary. The development pitch does the best job at scaffolding information in the order it occurs in the book. Addressing the entire mystery of Sydney not being able to trust anyone from her former life in the logline would better suit the guessing nature of narrative rather than just focusing on the beginning elements of the story.
Draw of Story
Sydney's bravery in surviving the attack is compelling but her need to conceal her amnesia in order to find out what happened is a delicate balance full of potential for tension. In order to figure out who she can trust she can't let them know what she doesn't know. This dilemma also works the reverse way in that the more she learns and the less she can trust others the more she has to pretend she doesn't know about them.
There are moments of tension that are often resolved extremely quickly when they could be drawn out to reach their full potential. For example, Walker's hesitance to cross professional and romantic boundaries with Sydney or Mitch stalking Sydney in her private home gym. Having multiple points of view to include the villains sometimes works in allowing the audience to know more than the characters to create suspense but often it removes the tension from not realizing who is trustworthy.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that in order for Sydney to remember what happened she has to be in contact with anyone who has information which means she doesn't know who she can trust and who is a danger to her.
This could potentially have a medium sized dedicated fanbase thanks to the romance aspect and successful female protagonist. This is likely to appeal mainly to women in the older demographics with careers.
Although there is trauma built into the storyline that is usually grounds for awards, the focus is on the investigation of what happened and getting legal revenge rather than showing how Sydney is working through her trauma thus is unlikely to garner many awards based off genre choice vs. normal genre preferences of awards shows.
Similar Films/TV Series
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY, SECRET OBSESSION, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, THE BODYGUARD, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, BEYOND THE LIGHTS
What’s New About the Story
Sydney's need to remember what happened that put her in danger requires her to reconnect with her past without knowing how to trust. By not giving away which person she can trust through their own pov, the tension and surprise in who betrays her will be more sustained.
Sydney is brave, extremely kind and very strong to relive her trauma in order to get justice and work through her issues to regain control of her life. Walker is loyal and considerate beyond his job description and has a sixth sense for vetting who to trust.
Uniqueness of Story
Not a gem as it is. Keeping the tension by leaving who to trust as a surprise for longer periods a mystery and extending known points of tension such as the house intruder will help make the rising actions more consistent.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
By allowing the relationships Sydney needs to reconstruct her attack to form by withholding knowing the others' secret intentions for a longer period, the surprise in their betrayal will be feel more organic and drum up more suspense. Also allowing Sydney and Walker to have flaws and make mistakes will help them seem more dynamic and realistic as characters.
Sydney is an attorney with a promising career who is also a widow and orphan recovering from the pain of losing her husband and parents. After find out dangerous truths related a case she was working on involving powerful and dangerous men, she is kidnapped, beaten, raped and loses her memory. She then has to rebuild her life, career and learn how to protect herself from people trying to take advantage of her and her money.
What We Liked
This is a surprising story with several twists regarding a strong, yet naive woman trying to rebuild her life after several tragedies and how far can people go for money and greediness. It is full of action and also brings along well-built characters and a charming protagonist that endured horrors but still manages to find her happiness.
Film: It would be a great adaptation for a film because there is a lot of action and characters are dubious, which keeps the story interesting. Even though there is much tragedy, the protagonist manages to face all obstacles and her strength makes the plot well-tied up.
TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV as the plot is complex and brings elaborate character arcs that have independent paces throughout the narrative. Action and plot twists are also a constant.
Key points: Thrilling action scenes; dubious side characters; plot twists and charismatic protagonist.
Sydney Jones is a rising attorney and a heir millionaire who is facing grief from recently losing her parents in a car accident and also her husband at only 28 years old.
While working on a case at Birdman&Birdman, a successful law firm in which she was about to become a partner, Sydney discovers frauds involving powerful Lawrence O'Malley, a corrupt union leader who is involved in the killing of a man at the construction site.
When refusing to leave the case, Sydney is kidnapped, beaten, raped and loses her memory after another tragic event. She gets pregnant and also a STD.
Judith Garner is a former colleague at Birdman&Birdman who hires private detective Duane Nelson to try to discover the truth about her disappearance. When Sydney is returned home alive by her kidnappers, both Judith and Nelson approach her. Judith pretends to be Sydney's friend and gain her confidence, robbing her and trying to escape, while Nelson offers his help as a friend and secretly investigates her funds and reopens the case involving Sydney's parents.
As Nelson finds out Sydney's parents were murdered by Maynard, the men in charge of their money, he takes the investigation to the police. The man gets charged and later confesses his crimes.
Judith is also caught and sent to prison.
Sydney then regains her memory with the help of Dr. Routh and decides to rebuild her life opening a new pro-bono law firm to help women in need, and for her safety hires Dan Walker, a handsome bodyguard who spends day and night with her and turns out to become her lover. Sydney, however, doesn't need his help to kill Mitch, her rapist and kidnapper, who escapes prison and tries to invade her house once again.
As the couple falls in love and each criminal pays for their crimes - or almost, as Judith manages to escape and is followed by Nelson, who only wanted to marry Sydney's money - the protagonist is able to find her happiness once again.