Crippled Pelican

Book Cover


1960s & '70s

Michael Strickland

TaleFlick Pick!

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The story is about the mysterious sinking of a shrimp trawler off the Florida east coast with women and children aboard, some ten years before. The only survivor was the boat's captain, whom the government claimed was the person who sank the boat.



Short Summary

Begins with a local newspaper reporter investigating a mysterious sinking of a shrimp trawler ten years earlier.

The story ends after the reporter finally discovers the reason for the trawlers sinking ten years before with women and children aboard!


Mayport Florida

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Tragedy,Voyage and Return

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Jake

Age: 40s

Gender: Male

Role: Skeptic

Key Traits: Adventurous,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Jerry

Age: 40s

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Heroic,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Jerry

Age: 40s

Gender: Male


Key Traits: Adventurous,Heroic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

This is a story of international implications that took place off the east coast of Florida. It is filled with mystery, adventure, intrigue that will keep an audience on edge until the very end of the story. It is truly written for more the big screen or cable tv.

About The Author

Michael Strickland was born in Mayport Florida. He was in the restaurant business most of his adult life, operating the locally famous Strickland seafood chain, dating back to 1935. Michael lives in Jacksonville with his wife and three sons. The Crippled Pelican was my first published work, and nearly made into a movie shortly afterwards.

Target Audiences

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

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Mayport Publishing Company

Year Published: 2015

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed




Jake is confronted with a story after a grieving widow explains that her husband were involved in a shrimp boat cover up. Jake finds himself in a tiny, fishing community, trying to uncover the the story of what happened to Jerry, Bubba and their families. Jerry was the only survivor of the boat accident and has been locked away for 10 years. Jake learns about the fatal encounter with a Russian submarine and the US cover-up, giving peace to Jerry's brother, Bubba and his daughter, Judy.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

The story explains the plot from the beginning. Jake finds out about the shrimp boat accident from the widow and immediately starts to look into the story. There is a mystery presented that must be uncovered.

Possible Drawbacks

The dialogue is very dramatic and unrealistic at times. It feels stereotypical to the story and not unique to the characters. The sub plots feel unnecessary. Judy and Jake's relationship seems forced especially because he has no qualms about being married and sleeping with a young he just met. It doesn't add anything to the story. Towards the end, it's uncovered that Jake has a drinking issue that seemed to come out of left field.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that 10 years ago, a shrimp boat went down and the only survivor, the captain, was locked away in a mental institution. Jake, a journalist, tries to uncover what truly happened and why everyone involved was silenced. I would watch this story to see the mystery unfold.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase because it has mystery, excitement and heartbreak. There is a solid revelation of the truth even though it is not done in any unique way. Everything ties together nicely at the end.

Awards Potential

This could have more awards potential if the story was more character driven. There are many great emotional scenes such as the one when Bubba is explaining what happened the day he searched for him family. Jerry has been locked up for 10 years without being able to see his family and being told he is crazy. His retelling of the events to Jake is a pivotal moment that could be heightened and given more focus.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The story is original because of events of the accident. It is slightly surprising because it involves a Russian submarine and a governmental coverup. Outside of that, it is very similar to many "mysterious accident" storylines.

Lead Characters

The lead character does not stand out. He is a handsome, white man with a great job. Jake is decently good at his job, but has a few flaws. He isn't very distinct, but works well with the story.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an entertaining mystery that has a solid story and is entertaining. The subplots could be eliminated such as the romance between Jake and Judy. It would add more suspense if it was more difficult for Jake to see Jerry and finally hear the true story.

Possible Formats

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

Analyst Recommendation



This story is a solid mystery that will hold the audiences attention. If developed correctly, it will give many heart wrenching and emotional moments as well as a few thrills.