Sleeper Cell

Book Cover



Douglas Karlson

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A ruthless member of a radical sect evades Army Special Forces in Afghanistan and is sent to New York to activate a sleeper cell. He has an ingenious plan, but he hasn’t anticipated one thing: FBI Special Agent Kim Conrad.



Short Summary

The story begins with FBI Special Agent Kim Conrad. She's a whiz with numbers but has limited field experience. That changes when she's called on to intercept a serial bank robber, whose moves she has predicted. That leads to a transfer to the NYC field office, where she's soon in over her head.

Exiled to her family's farm in upstate New York after a botched operation, Kim finds the terrorist she's been tracking and joins forces with a sheriff's deputy who helps her confront him.


New York City, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Kim Conrad

Age: 32

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Sexy,Complex,Educated

Additional Character Details

Name: Pashman Khan

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Complex,Engaging

Additional Character Details

Name: Lance Dennehy

Age: 28

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Skillful,Faithful,Insecure,Leader

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

A business school graduate who said "no" to Wall Street after being recruited by the FBI, Kim Conrad is a whiz at numbers. That skill leads to dramatic success in the Florida field office, and she's transferred to her home town, New York City, to trace suspicious wire transfers. Those transfers are to activate a long dormant sleeper cell, placing Kim in the crosshairs of Pazhman Khan, ruthless member of a secret radical sect. When Khan recognizes Kim in the society pages of the newspaper, the struggle becomes real, and deadly. In over her head, Kim finds an ally in Sgt. Lance Dennehy, formerly of the 75th Rangers, who is rebuilding a life shattered by war and terror. Isolated and alone, they confront their deepest fears.

About The Author

Doug is a graduate of Northwestern University (Radio, TV, Film). After working for many years as a journalist, he now works for Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, MA. This is his second book.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Amazon

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available







Kim is transferred to the NYC FBI office to help with a case of a sleeper cell organization making waves in the US. She gets more time in the field, pursuing the antagonist and trying to stop him from bombing the president. Pazhman moves from Afghanistan to America with a devious plan against the US but Kim and her colleagues are able to avert a major disaster.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

The story follows a FBI agent, Kim, who isn't the typical alpha female, kick butt type of main character. She is not always certain of herself and her actions. She wants to be in the field but doesn't know how to go about making the change. She is a relatable character trying to do the best at her job.

Possible Drawbacks

This book drags on for too long. A lot of the information does not feel central to the story. There can definitely be some edits to focus on the plot and create more suspense. It takes too much time getting to the main events. Kim's relationship status and attraction to Harper feel forced. As soon as she arrives in the office, she is immediately concerned about a romantic entanglement with a new colleague she met 5 minutes before. It feels unrealistic.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Kim is put on a case to find a sleeper cell organization being stirred in NY. Her specific brand of expertise makes her the perfect candidate for the job. I would watch the movie for the action and female lead.

Fanbase Potential

This would not have a large fanbase. Stories like this are all too common and do not grab audience attention unless very unique. This story is similar to many long running detective shows.

Awards Potential

This does not have awards potential. The story is not unique and follows the successful formula of other crime/detective stories. The story is very black and white with little character development.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

This story is not original. A unique element to the story is Kim and her personality. She is not he cool, collected FBI agent who is seasoned and knows her stuff. Kim is still unsure about her position and has not been entirely happy with her time at the FBI. She feels like a normal person than a bullet proof hero.

Lead Characters

The lead character stands out because she is a normal women. She left a career to become an FBI agent but it hasn't been everything she hoped it would be. She has insecurities that are showcased and isn't the uber confident female character that tend to be the lead of action films.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an average story that needs editing to make it more dynamic. There is too much time taken away from the plot. Every step each character makes is explained when more suspense and mystery would aid the story in setting the tone. Pazhman, the antagonist, is shown through every step of his journey from Afghanistan to bombing the US president's yacht. There is no air of mystery or shadow surrounding him and his intentions.

Possible Formats

TV Series: Network, Cable, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



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

The romantic story line between Harper and Kim is unnecessary as well as her other romantic activities. While the relationship between Kim and her father enriches the audiences understanding of the character, it is given too much time. Pazhman actions could be revealed strategically throughout the story as Kim gets closer to figuring out who is behind the sleeper cell. Less is more in this case.