Pretty City Murder

Robert E Dunn

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION CRIME DETECTIVE DRAMA FAMILY MYSTERY RELIGIOUS SUSPENSE/THRILLER

    Core Theme

    FAMILY

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE BIG SLEEP, A IS FOR ALIBI

    CHARACTER LIST

    LARRY LEAHY: 60S. LEAD. LOYAL AND DEDICATED.

    JAMES O'HARA: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.

    FATHER RALPH MACKENZIE: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.

    CORNELIUS MACKENZIE: 60S. OLD FRIEND OF LARRY'S.

    PEPPER: 30S. FRONT DESK GIRL AT THE HOTEL.

    LAUREN: 60S. LARRY'S WIFE.

    Logline

    Pretty City Murder is the story of three life-long friends, a cop, a priest, and a hotel owner, pitted against each other after the priest's brother is murdered in the hotel where he supervises bellhops.

    Target Audiences

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

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    San Francisco and Topaz Lake CA

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Robert E Dunn Publishing

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    A priest finds his slow-learning brother dead in his hotel apartment. The priest calls his friend, an inspector with the SFPD, who begins investigating the murder by interviewing the hotel owner. Priest, cop, and hotelier have been friends since first grade, but quickly they become adversaries.

    Ending Description

    Leahy narrows the suspects to one unlikely person, Pepper Chase, hotel clerk, who was in love with the priest's brother, but wrongly thought he was in love with the hotel owner's mistress, which led Pepper to kill the priest's beloved brother.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9780692106549

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity, Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist,,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Larry Leahy

    Age: 59

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Faithful, Honorable, Perseverance, Religious, Strong Moral Code, Complex,Religious,Decisive,Masculine,Blunt,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Educated,Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Honorable,Empathetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: James O'Hara

    Age: 59

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident, Masculine, Educated, Manipulative, Perseverance, Sexy, Unapologetic, Aggressive, Charming,Aggressive,Charming,Criminal,Decisive,Greedy,Educated,Insecure,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Sexy,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Secretive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Father Ralph MacKenzie, SJ

    Age: 59

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident, Educated, Leader, Masculine, Unapologetic, Charming,Complex,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Masculine,Religious,Secretive,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Pepper Chase

    Age: 24

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Uneducated, Clumsy, Complex, Desperate, Flexible, Insecure, Naive, Secretive

    Development Pitch

    People who love San Francisco will want to read this crime story, but they will discover that San Franciscans are just like everybody else. The genre dictates a realistic presentation ordered to uncover the true character of nine key figures. Each one of them tells the story from his or her own point of view, which makes the novel unique. How? The reader is freed from the narrow interpretation of one character, the police inspector. On his or her own, the reader is allowed to explore the faults and motives of each character and guess who committed murder. The climax comes when a Mission District boy-suspect pleads, "Jesus, come get me."

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER

    Brief

    A good cop must solve a murder in which several people he personally knows are suspects. During the investigation he finds a philandering priest, and a lovesick fellow detective all while discovering that his boss is crooked.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, but the writing seems poor and the description is a little confusing. A little simplifying of some of the sentences could help.

    Draw of Story

    The pace and dialogue are great.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Some of the dialogue was a little forced but overall it was good.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    It's a fairly good police procedural with lots of interesting human relationship drama.

    Fanbase Potential

    Yes. Police procedurals are a huge part of the entertainment landscape and millions of people watch them every day.

    Awards Potential

    Maybe - you never know with police dramas. They have been pretty good to Scorsese during awards season.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    KNIVES OUT, CLUE, COPLAND, LAW AND ORDER

    What’s New About the Story

    This story has a close-knit, small town feel even though it takes place in a major city. You get a good understanding of the relationships between its main characters.

    Lead Characters

    While there is nothing overtly unique about these characters, they are well written and the format is a proven winner.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Again, this is a police procedural so it's not rare. But as far as police procedurals go, this is one that could succeed.

    Possible Formats

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

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    Police procedural murder mysteries are immensely popular with the general public. This film would have a believable plotline, plenty of decent dialogue, and would move at a good pace. The main characters are believable and the protagonist is likeable. Some of the dialogue could be improved, but not a lot. This book is well suited for an easy screenplay adaptation.

    Brief

    A murder in San Francisco brings three life-long friends into a fierce conflict as each person tries to protect his family's reputation and his own achievements. Nine people tell the story from their points of view. One is the killer.

    What We Liked

    This was an interesting take on the detective novel in that it told the story from multiple points of view, including suspects, in a way that made it seem like any one of them could be the murderer.

    Film: As a film, this would be a classic whodunit mystery blockbuster.

    TV: As a television show, this could be an interesting miniseries with each episode revolving around one character's perception of events

    Key points: Mystery; Ensemble leads; Plot twist; Dramatic; Family values

    Synopsis

    It's the 4th of July in San Francisco, and everyone is celebrating. Inspector Larry Leahy is called to investigate the hotel by the owner, James O'Hara, an old friend of Larry's--one of the former employees, Gerald Smith, was fired and showed up anyways. He removes him with the help of a hotel security guard. Pepper, the front desk girl at the hotel, takes dinner upstairs to Cornelius Mackenzie, a mentally challenged bellhop at the hotel who she is in love with. She professes her love to him, but he's scared and doesn't know what to say. A big party is happening downstairs that everyone attends. Pepper gets an email from Cornelius saying he needs $50,000 to pay off a gambling debt. Pepper, wanting to win Cornelius's heart, steals the money from the front desk vault and delivers it to Cornelius's room. Later, Father Ralph, Cornelius's brother and another friend of O'Hara and Leahy, goes to check on his brother and finds him dead alongside a gun.

    The police chief puts Inspector Joe Varton on the case, and Leahy is mad that he wasn't put on the case because of his personal relationship with the victim, and gets put on the case as the second lead. They interrogate Pepper, and once she confesses to stealing the $50,000 and James overhears, he fires her. They then interrogate James, who gives Leahy tickets for a trip to Ireland but claims it's not a bribe. James hires Pepper back. James is cheating on his wife with a widower named Maureen; Leahy goes to her house to interview her without letting Varton know. Larry asks her about the gun and if she knows anything--she says she doesn't have a gun, but later reveals that she has been hiding a gun for James. She asks James to take the gun back, but he pressures her into keeping it. The police chief wants to take Larry off the case for his conduct, but he threatens to retire, so he gets to stay on as second.

    James purchases land for $50,000 and suspicion gets placed on him, especially once he reveals that he sent Pepper the email from Cornelius's account. Larry thinks that the murderer is Pablo, as his girlfriend, Larissa, was missing a fingernail similar to the one found at the scene, but then Pablo jumps off a bridge, killing himself. Larry arrests O'Hara, but still isn't sure how he could have committed the murder. Larry realizes the fingernail was Pepper's and arrests her. She confesses, and reveals that O'Hara hired Pablo to kill Cornelius but he didn't, and Pepper killed him when the gun went off by mistake.

    About The Author

    Robert E Dunn served as a patrol officer for eight years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and conducted hundreds of investigations, both criminal and non-criminal. He worked with cops, firefighters, and paramedics, and his former supervisor works with cops who get into trouble.