Darkness in Malaga

Paul S Bradley

Book Cover

GENRE

CRIME DETECTIVE SUSPENSE/THRILLER MYSTERY ACTION ROMANCE

    Core Theme

    SECOND CHANCES

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE JAMMED, TAKEN

    CHARACTER LIST

    PHILLIP ARMITAGE - 43, A FORMER BRITISH SOLDIER AND CLOSE FRIENDS OF JULIET WHO TEAMS WITH THE POLICE AFTER SHE IS ABDUCTED.

    LEON PRADO - 53, A VETERAN DETECTIVE 'PROMOTED' TO BE THE NEW HEAD OF CRIMES INVOLVING FOREIGNERS IN THE TOURIST HEAVY ANDALUSIA REGION.

    AMANDA SALISBURY– 34, A VIDEOGRAPHER AND JOURNALIST WITH A STRONG MORAL COMPASS AND TASTE FOR ADVENTURE.

    JULIET – 20, A YOUNG WAITRESS PHILLIP BECAME ATTACHED TO THAT IS ABDUCTED IN BY A SEX TRAFFICKING RING.

    ROSEMARY – JULIET'S AUNT WHO HELPS THE INVESTIGATION BY TRACING CRIMINAL ELEMENTS IN THE UK.

    ANGELIKA – ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE SEX TRAFFICKING RING.

    Logline

    For thirty years, four friends have been hunting for the man who made their school years pure hell. Soon, he may die before they can bring him to justice. They try to flush him out using his favorite hobbies as bait. But they hadn't reckoned on veteran detective Leon Prado and his translators.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    The beautiful and historical city of Malaga and province, Andalucia, Spain.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Paul Bradley

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    A teenage Danish girl is kidnapped outside her school. Illegal migrants disappear from a detention center. DI Leon Prado messes up the ransom delivery and is moved sideways to head up a new department for crimes involving foreigners. He needs translators and recruits two foreigners to help.

    Ending Description

    After several red herrings, Prado and translators discover Malcolm Crown, the first of the four, was responsible for the missing youngsters. He forced them to perform on a voyeur website aimed at tempting his abuser to come out of hiding.

    Group Specific

    English speaking tourists to Spain, over 60 million per year.

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9798606507139

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Sexual Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Leon Prado

    Age: 53

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Modest,Strong Moral Code,Lone Wolf,Patriotic,Decisive,Gracious,Honorable,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Phillip Armitage

    Age: 434

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Charming,Adventurous,Complex,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Leader,Masculine,Modest,Sexy,Selfless,Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Amanda Salisbury

    Age: 33

    Gender: Female

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Sexy,Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    A wonderfully evocative mystery that combines Spanish culture with an inventive plot and characters. It captures the atmosphere, history, cuisine, and people of the area that would make a beguiling TV series for lovers of Spain and crime fans. For over fifty years, Andalusia has been the number one tourist destination for English speakers. Almost every scene would remind them of their first taste of romance or family holidays. The nostalgic attraction is extremely strong. I am not a writer of fast-moving action with lots of violence preferring to create realistic and plausible stories with likable, uncomplex characters that leave fans with a feel-good entertainment experience. I use actual locations, hotels, restaurants, museums, and monuments to help remind readers of their time here. From analyzing my readers and comments, the typical audience is mid-thirties and upwards. For this, I've used more mature characters. Prado is nearing the end of his career, and the burgeoning romance between Phillip and Amanda is subtle, slow, and age-appropriate.

    Genre

    SUSPENSE, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, THRILLER, DRAMA

    Brief

    When young women in Andalusia go missing inspector Leon Prado recruits the help of a British former soldier and American journalist. Together they follow the trail of a missing English twenty year old through a maze of human trafficking to rescue her and others from a prison of sexual exploitation.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The logline describes an entirely different story. Apparently a different one from this same series. The profile also describes Prado as the main character but Phillip is clearly the protagonist in terms of time and driving the action.

    Draw of Story

    The opening abduction immediately begins what will be the most compelling part of this story, though it takes a long time to return of the urgency of that situation.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The flirting and budding romance between Phillip and Amanda while Juliet is missing is baffling and off-putting.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    If this can act as a hard-hitting expose of real-life sex trafficking while maintaining an entertaining story it could be an intriguing watch.

    Fanbase Potential

    Not likely, this story has elements for many audiences but contains contrary elements. A thriller doesn't stop to talk about architecture. A escapist travel narrative doesn't dramatize dying migrants. A romance doesn't feel right in the midst of a sex trafficking investigation. The audience that wants one part doesn't want the other in the same movie or series.

    Awards Potential

    No. This would have to delve much more deeply into the real life implications of human sex trafficking to be an awards film or series.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE JAMMED, TAKEN

    What’s New About the Story

    The use of Phillip and Amanda in a police investigation is the most interesting feature of the narrative, though it's so hard to believe as to be a handicap without a stronger justification.

    Lead Characters

    Each of the character flexibility and willingness to engage in this unusual investigation.

    Uniqueness of Story

    No. It needs to find it's lane as a story and play to the strengths of one genre, maybe two.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    It is a combination of genres that are stitched together into an ungainly story. Though there is some promise in each one, when put together like this the result is less than the sum of its parts.

    Tips for Improvement

    A sharper focus in terms of genre. The author advertises a realistic story but still throws in a car chase with a gotcha death moment. The overall premise rests on the idea of two foreigners practically running a police investigation, which lacks credibility. Long descriptions of history and culture work better in print then for film or TV but even in this case they tend to stop the story cold instead of providing engaging detail. Most importantly the romance between Phillip and Amanda not only feels out of place but wrong when they are investigating the disappearance of a woman one of them supposedly cares deeply about. Pick a clear genre and tell only that story with the other elements in the background to provide detail and realism.

    Brief

    When young women in Andalusia go missing inspector Leon Prado recruits the help of a British former soldier and American journalist. Together they follow the trail of a missing English twenty year old through a maze of human trafficking to rescue her and others from a prison of sexual exploitation.

    What We Liked

    Darkness in Malaga brings a compelling look at human trafficking in a place where the world goes to forget about things and reminds us of the stakes of turning a blind eye.

    Film: Darkness in Malaga as a film would take audiences on a thrilling ride through the seedy underbelly of Spain in the race to rescue young abducted girls from a prison of sexual exploitation. Unearthing this grim world will force a hard look at the realities of human trafficking while showing the dedication and luck required to create a happy ending.

    TV: For the television audience darkness in Malaga combines an escapist Spanish locale with the hard edged reality of sex and human trafficking that lies beneath the surface. With sparkling detail into the areas history and culture a series could render a black and white news item into all its colors and complexity. This all propelled along by a life and death struggle to rescue the innocent from the clutches of evil.

    Key points:
    Compelling drama.
    Exotic locale.
    Unfolding mystery.
    Thrilling climax.
    Happy ending.

    Synopsis

    Teenage Angelika fights off the advances of Mateo, her dance partner of the school talent contest. She's then abducted on her walk home. Leon Prado is taken off the case of the missing girls, Angelika is the ninth to go missing without a trace, and put in charge of crimes against foreigners in Malaga. His first case, involving the accidental death of a Belgian woman, brings Phillip Armitage into his office to translate.

    Phillip, a British former soldier arrives in Nerja to meet the much younger Juliet, the woman he was running away from. They agree to meet at the Nerja caves later, but Juliet doesn't show.

    Amanda Salisbury films the procession at the San Isidro festival. When she reviews the footage she sees a Juliet abducted into a van. Amanda, Phillip and Prado are brought together to investigate. Suspicion soon falls on Juliet's most recent boyfriend Hassan, an obese man who asked about her at work and her family in England.

    They learn from Hassan that he was in Morocco during the abduction, that Juliet shunned physical intimacy and feared kidnapping. Prado is increasingly worried Juliet was pulled into Spain's vastly expanding sex tourism. Juliet's Aunt Rosemary tells them how Juliet's parents are dead and how her stepfather wants revenge after Juliet sent him to prison for attempting to rape her. Prado learns the man, Graham Ferrier, has just arrived in Spain.

    When Phillip and a police officer arrive at Ferrier's hotel he charging them with a knife and is shot dead. Ferrier's trail leads them to identify the obese man as Rick Duffy. Duffy and Martin Crown are suspected to have been Ferrier's cellmates and owners of a voyeur porn site with young women live streamed from a house 24/7.

    Phillip and Amanda have dinner together discussing business and each other. They get a tip Juliet may have been with a man named Lars Erikson just before the festival. They confirm that seven of the girls in the voyeur house are missing persons and find an ad for a live show with Juliet and Angelika. They must find the girls before they are raped before a live audience.

    The police canvas all properties in the area with enough fiber optic capacity to run the house website. Honing in one such properties owned by Lars' company they catch Juliet's abductors, two migrants picked up a year ago by Duffy and Crown. They extract the voyeur house in return for expedited citizenship for the men's families.

    At the house Duffy takes Amanda hostage and Phillip pursues in a car chase only to see them fly off a cliff into a fiery explosion. Phillip is shocked to meet Amanda later and learn she jumped out at a previous hairpin turn. At the house the police are able to rescue all the girls, including Juliet and Angelika. Lars is found barely alive and Crown is arrested.

    Juliet tells Phillip what happened and though it's horrible she's optimistic now. Crown informs on the migration official they bribed to acquire many of the girls to get better conditions. Phillip hosts a bar-b-que where Prado wraps up the details of the case and Juliet announces she'll return to England to study law. After everyone else leaves, Phillip and Amanda kiss.

    About The Author

    Paul S Bradley is originally from London and has lived in Nerja Spain since 1992. He has worked as a tour guide and guidebook author in addition to volunteer translator at hospitals and police stations.