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Catherine Fearns

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When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, an unlikely alliance is formed between a Calvinist nun and a heavy metal guitarist, as they go on the trail of rogue geneticist who may hold the key to something even darker than murder. Science meets religion in DI Darren Swift's first case.



Short Summary

The body of a young man is found crucified on a windswept Liverpool beach, a mysterious religious carving on the cross above his head. Cynical young Detective Inspector Darren Swift goes to a nearby convent looking for answers, where he meets eschatologist and Calvinist nun Dr. Helen Hope.

Helen is kidnapped by the murderers (still to be revealed to readers/viewers) and taken to their makeshift genetics lab hidden in the countryside. The missing baby is there. Helen is rescued by Mikko who brings his whole tour bus straight from a gig. But there is a twist...


Liverpool, Monaco

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Twist,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence,Nudity, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Helen Hope

Age: 30

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Badass,Empathetic,Faithful,Insecure,Honorable,Religious,Modest,Sexy,Selfless,Secretive,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Darren Swift

Age: 30

Gender: Lgbt

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Heartthrob,Insecure,Blunt,Underdog,Sarcastic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Mikko Kristensen

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Crazy,Heartthrob,Honorable,Sexy,Blunt,Outspoken,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: Matthew Clancy

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Criminal,Desperate,Educated,Narcisstic,Villainous,Religious,Power Hungry,Visionary

Development Pitch

Reprobation is a crime thriller with a supernatural twist. It can be interpreted as a straight police procedural, or readers/viewers can consider the possibility of a world beyond our own. The setting makes full use of Liverpool's urban gothic potential, and the themes of religion, genetics and heavy metal music are exciting and different. My readers have really fallen in love with the unusual heroes, Helen Hope, Darren Swift and Mikko Kristensen. Helen is an eschatology lecturer and a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime. Darren is a cynical young detective, promoted too quickly and out of his depth, and struggling with homophobic discrimination in his past. Mikko is a Norwegian heavy metal guitarist with a criminal record and a body covered in tattoos, but a heart of gold. The suspects keep readers/viewers guessing until the very end, and there are violent murders, shocking twists.. and romance.. throughout. This book would make a perfect screen adaptation, and there are also two sequels, with another in the pipeline.

About The Author

Catherine Fearns is from Liverpool, UK. She has published three crime fiction novels with Crooked Cat Books; Reprobation, Consuming Fire and Sound are all Amazon bestsellers in multiple categories. Reprobation won a Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal and has also been adapted as a music album. Catherine writes for music website V13, and her music journalism has also appeared in Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction pieces have been published in Writing Magazine, Motherdom, Here Comes Everyone, Toasted Cheese, Offshoots & Metal Music Studies. She holds a degree in History from Oxford University, a Masters from the London School of Economics, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Geneva Writers Group. When Catherine is not writing, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band, mainly to annoy her four children.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Crooked Cat (darkstroke imprint)

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available







In a sleepy English town, a body is found causing a raucous in the police department. DI Darren is trying to figure out the case when more elements start to pop up as well as more bodies. Helen is a Calvinist nun who gets caught up in the drama. When a baby goes missing, religious clues lead to the criminals.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile does accurately reflect the book.

Draw of Story

The story is very descriptive when explaining the locations. It sets the scene very well. There is a great deal of talk about eschatology and religion.

Possible Drawbacks

The book deals with overzealous sectors of the Christian faith which is interesting but also deals with Satanism and theories surrounding predetermined sin. There are many different ideologies thrown at the audience.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that a string of murders happen in this small, quiet town and a religious fanatic is using Christianity to choose the victims.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase because crimes centered around the Catholic church or Christian faith have generally found success. It deals with different beliefs for Christianity that Christians won't be offended and attract others for the solid story and plot twists.

Awards Potential

This could have awards potential if the story is directed with the exploration of Christianity and Satanism.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The story is not very original. The ideologies the crimes are based on are different but not starkly from other stories surrounding a religion.

Lead Characters

The character that stands out the most is Helen. She is a Calvinist nun that is very dedicated to her faith because of a mistake she takes personal responsibility for. She is looking to live a life of punishment as penance. She is swayed from her life of service through the events of the story and another character.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an above average story that has an interesting take on the typical formula. Also for an American audience, it is different than many other crime shows as it resembles English crime television.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



This story is a recommend because it has all the elements of a great crime story that is suspenseful and uncomfortable. The story keeps you guessing and has good twist.