Led Astray: A Crime Thriller

Book Cover

SUSPENSE/THRILLER YOUNG ADULT CRIME DETECTIVE

Contemporary

Karlianna Voncil

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Logline

After a young woman's body is found, two detectives track down a local youth who has direct knowledge of her death, and through an extended flashback recalls the story of her own life, its hardships, and the events that led to the woman's death.

Genre

Suspense/Thriller,Young Adult,Crime,Detective

Short Summary

A body is discovered buried near a dumpster, and the detectives on the case identify the body as a woman that has been missing for months. They begin searching for clues, and canvas the area she was found at. One detective discovers that someone is leaving trinkets of the victim at her burial site.


The main antagonist abandons the witness and flees weeks before the body of the missing woman is discovered. After the witness concludes her story and describes her part in the young woman's death, Detective Martinez prepares her for departure to a juvenile detention center.

Setting

Texas Panhandle

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Other

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Sexual Abuse,Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Daisy Young

Age: 13

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Naive,Insecure,Desperate,Obedient,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Avia

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Aggressive,Leader,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Criminal,Power Hungry,Blunt

Additional Character Details

Name: Detective Leonard Martinez

Age: 45

Gender: Male

Role: logical

Key Traits: Honorable,Empathetic,Skillful,Educated,Decisive,Modest,Strong Moral Code,Clumsy

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

After sixteen-year-old Emily Burns turns up murdered, Sweet Valley detectives Martinez and van Daan must pin their hopes on thirteen-year-old Daisy Young, the only living soul who could have possibly witnessed the crime. But as the story of Daisy's life spills out, the interview transforms into something darker and more tragic than either detective is equipped to handle. Abandoned by her mother in the Sweet Valley neighborhood, Daisy falls in with a troupe of teens who offer her both the family and freedom she desperately craves. Their leader is Avia, an older girl who teaches Daisy both how to survive and the value of loyalty. But when tragedy strikes and sends Avia down the deadly path of revenge, Daisy must prove her loyalty in one unforgettable act. This twisted coming-of-age story questions the role that family, friends, and extreme poverty play in the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable members of society.

About The Author

Karlianna Voncil is a Texas Panhandle native and grew up in a house filled with books. Having earned a Bachelor's degree in English from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from West Texas A&M University, she has worked as a teacher and a background investigator, feverishly writing in her spare time. In her adolescence she dreamed of writing stories that showcased both the prairie lands and the indomitable spirit of its people. Led Astray was a Semifinalist in the 2019 Indie Diamond Book Awards, a Finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards, and won 1st Place in the 2020 CIPA EVVY Awards. Karlianna Voncil is currently working on her second novel.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: TCK Publishing

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

9781631610592

Genre

SUSPENSE, THRILLER, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA

Brief

Sweet Valley is a small town shaken-up by a shocking crime: the murder of a 16 year-old girl from a traditional family, Emily Burns, the only daughter of Dr. Edward and Elizabeth. After investigators discover that Daisy, a lonely 13-year-old girl, has been leaving trinkets at Emily's burial site, they struggle to understand what is the link between the child and the crime. The narrative then gives light to the relationship between Daisy and Avia, Emily's murderer, who on the other hand was the only family Daisy has ever known.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: EXCELLENT

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Book profile reflects book accurately.

Draw of Story

The most enticing thing about the story is not the crime itself, but the duality in Daisy's relationship with Avia and their life contexts. Avia's character is also highly interesting as, even though she is a murderer, she also has a maternal side to her, which is the reason for Daisy's loyalty.

Possible Drawbacks

Nothing made me want to put the book down, however it could be adapted in order to get audience's attention quicker, especially in the beginning where scenes are very detailed in descriptions and mysteries and enticing bits take longer to be placed.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook of the narrative is definitely the relationship between Avia and Daisy, and the duality involved in their sisterhood and how Daisy, a child, craved for affection and ended up finding it in wicked companions.

Fanbase Potential

It could have a large fanbase if adapted, especially if there was a deeper focus on social issues dragging teenagers into criminality.

Awards Potential

It could also have awards potential as the key of the narrative would be the acting and directing, in order to build up the rotten relationship between a child and a criminal.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

CHRISTIANE F

What’s New About the Story

The most original thing about the story is that, even though it is at criminal investigation narrative, it goes deeper than most portraying the dubious side of a teenage criminal and also the many layers involved in the path to criminality. It could be more unique if the mysteries involved in the crime were more surprising, as it its end is predictable early on in the narrative.

Lead Characters

Daisy's loyalty and naivety is what is more interesting about her character. The reasons why she helped Avia and Jesus cover their crimes are very well explained in the sisterhood relationship she and Avia shared.

Uniqueness of Story

It could be improved in order to add up more surprising elements to the narrative and make it stand out when it comes to a criminal investigation plot.

Possible Formats

Film - Studio, Film - Indie, TV Series - Network, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

CONSIDER

Justification

Consider it because it is a well-written story, with a wider view on society other than just a criminal investigation. Writer is talented and could come up with more enticing bits on the crime itself.