ACTION DETECTIVE DRAMA SUSPENSE/THRILLER MYSTERY
1980s & '90s
A body is found at Riverdale Inn, slashed multiple times. Female psychologist, Alex Aguilar, Lead homicide Detective Manny Castillo and his partner, Deshawn, are searching for the killer. The timing couldn't be worse, Alex is barely recovered from her near death only months ago.
The Riverdale Inn, Manny and Deshawn watch the CSI finish up their business so they can view the victim's body. Mike Dickerson, head CSI guy, just finished giving Manny all the gory details. The M.E.'s assistant is waiting to take the body, but Manny asks for an extra minute to examine the corpse.
Manny gets an envelope delivered to him. He opens it in front of Deshawn and a pile of surveillance type photos spill out onto the desk. All of Manny, Alex, Deshawn, the burn vic they just saw an hour ago. Deshawn sees a picture of his family, causing him to bolt from the Unit, leaving Manny behind
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Sexual Abuse,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity,Incest,Extreme Violence,Nudity
Main Character Details
Name: Dr. Alexandra Aguilar
Key Traits: Sexy,Charming,Complex,Outspoken,Educated,Strong Moral Code,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful
Additional Character Details
Name: Emmanuel "Manny" Castillo
Key Traits: Masculine,Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Sexy,Confident,Complex,Decisive,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Faithful,Engaging,Romantic,Heartthrob,Sarcastic,Honorable,Educated,Heroic,Leader
Additional Character Details
Name: Deshawn "D" Freeman
Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Charming,Sexy,Confident,Engaging,Funny,Romantic,Sarcastic,Heartthrob,Honorable,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Raven Rivers
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Blunt,Engaging,Outspoken,Sarcastic,Aggressive,Villainous,Complex,Sexy,Crazy,Decisive,Criminal,Skillful,Greedy,Secretive,Seductive,Educated,Manipulative
In the mid 1990's as DNA evidence becomes available, hunting serial killers takes on a level of strategy. A psychologist helping profile murder cases finds herself in the thick of things, not only on a new case, but with the man she is helping solve cases with. It has only been a few months since she barely escaped their last serial killer case- with her life. Now she, her friend and his partner, are on the hunt again, to find a new killer before the body count rises. All while fighting demons of their own. It's a story of "good vs. evil" and "nature vs. nurture". How sometimes, no matter how badly we want the story to end well, in life there's not always a story book ending.
SUSPENSE, THRILLER, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, RELIGION, DRAMA
Manny and Deshawn are detectives working a gruesome murder case with the help of Alex, a psychologist who is recovering from trauma from a similar case. The trio’s investigation leads them to discover the murder is linked to multiple murders of men by a young female. They catch the female and find she is mentally unstable and pregnant, complicating her prosecution. With the final outcome of the case uncertain, Manny and Deshawn are sent disturbing photos that suggest the they were being followed during the investigation and that Deshawn’s family is in danger.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile accurately reflects the book.
Draw of Story
Opening on the crime scene draws the reader into the plot immediately by thrusting them into the investigation with the main characters from the opening page.
At times the author gets too flowery with descriptions and this inevitably leads to poor similes such as ”dropped it like it had Ebola on it” (in reference to an object being held by a character). Also, the story doesn't have a satisfying climax or resolution, ending on a cliffhanger.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The story follows characters who narrowly escaped tragedy at the hands of a serial killer; mustering the willpower to push on and investigate another case involving a serial killer. There is good internal/external obstacles to overcome in the story.
I don't see this story having a large fanbase solely due to the fact that it doesn't reinvent the wheel for suspense/thriller detective stories. The characters are also not compelling enough to attract a large audience who want to follow their journey.
If adapted, I don't see this having awards potential due to the plot that is unresolved, lack of a real thematic message, and some of the main characters being underdeveloped.
Similar Films/TV Series
FILMS AND TV SHOWS SUCH AS ”SE7EN”, ”CRIMINAL MINDS”, AND ”SILENCE OF THE LAMBS” ARE SIMILAR TO THIS STORY DUE TO THE SHARED TONE, PLOT POINTS INVOLVING CHARACTERS, AND SUBJECT MATTER.
What’s New About the Story
There is nothing that stands out as unique in this story. A twist on the plot such as having Alex’s trauma being something she experienced alone and others have to take her word on it would have been interesting. This would create more conflict in the romance subplot between Alex and Manny if she has to deal with overcoming trauma and convincing everyone else what she went through was real. The story would stand out more if it ventured to deviate from common tropes associated with this genre.
The lead characters Manny and Alex stand out for their romance as a means to overcome trauma. Unfortunately, it does not stand out in a good way because this romance takes up a good portion of the story and does not advance the plot or reveal anything new about the characters.
Uniqueness of Story
This is not a rare gem. Improving the characterization of characters like Deshawn, focusing the plot on the main conflict, and taking risks with the plot points would help in making this story stand out.
TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
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
A change to the plot that distinguishes it from other gritty detective stories and giving more depth to some characters would go a long way in making this a story to recommend for adaptation.