Rain Down: A Crime Novella

Steve Anderson

Book Cover

GENRE

THRILLER DRAMA DETECTIVE CRIME

    Core Theme

    MURDER MYSTERY

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary,2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    BETTER CALL SAUL

    CHARACTER LIST

    • TRAVIS BRUNER: 37. MALE. HOMELESS AND TRAPPED BY CIRCUMSTANCE

    • MATT: 30'S MALE, POLICE OFFICER, STRAIGHT MAN

    • JACK: 30'S FEMALE, POLICE OFFICER, FUNNY COP

    • GERALD TAPPEN: 40'S MALE, ANTAGONIST, LEVEL-HEADED AND SELF-INTERESTED

    • EVA ALVAREZ: LATE 30'S FEMALE, OSCAR'S SISTER, SELFLESS AND MYSTERIOUS

    • OSCAR ALVAREZ: EARLY 30'S MALE, DECEASED, TRAVIS' FRIEND, WELL-LIKED, CLEVER

    Logline

    A former homeless man hits the streets of Portland to find a friend he fears may have been killed. It’s 2009, the economy’s falling apart. He dodges the cops, tries to save his drug-addicted ex, and discovers that a desperate condo developer and his wife are conspiring to cover up a tragic crime.

    Target Audiences

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

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Portland, Oregon

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Previously Endeavour Media, but I now have the rights back, so it's currently self-published

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Travis Bruner had been homeless for years until an immigrant day laborer named Oscar helped get him construction work. When Oscar goes missing, Travis scours the wet gray city to find him. Oscar's dead, Travis discovers — his body dumped onto train tracks.

    Ending Description

    Travis has found the truth on his own: Developer Gerald Tappen and his wife Eva (Oscar’s sister), covered up that Oscar committed suicide on a job site. The cops know Travis knows something but can’t prove it. Travis now becomes who Oscar had wanted to be — he runs a support office for day laborers.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    1073586847

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Travis Bruner

    Age: 37

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Clumsy,Complex,Desperate,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Insecure,Underdog,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Secretive,Sarcastic,Selfless,Modest,Crazy,Naive,Empathetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Oscar Alvarez

    Age: 32

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Crazy,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Insecure,Leader,Secretive,Visionary,Selfless,Uneducated,Modest,Underdog,Complex,Aspiring

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Gerald Tappen

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Criminal,Decisive,Desperate,Engaging,Greedy,Naive,Unapologetic,Manipulative,Secretive,Romantic,Power Hungry,Narcisstic,Aspiring,Aggressive,Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Eva Alvarez

    Age: 35

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Naive,Honorable,Faithful,Engaging,Empathetic,Desperate,Decisive,Criminal,Confident,Complex,Charming,Aspiring,Sexy,Religious,Skillful,Secretive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    It's 2009 in Portland, Oregon, and the economy's falling apart. A man with no name hits the streets to find a friend he fears may have been killed for taking a stand. Formerly homeless, the no-name man owes what little he has to his friend Oscar. As a fellow day laborer, Oscar had always stood up for their rights — maybe one time too many. Now he needs to find Oscar and soon, he realizes, or he just might take the rap himself. He has to dodge the cops, tries to save his drug-addicted ex, and discovers that a desperate condo developer and his wife are conspiring to cover up a tragic crime. To get at the whole truth, he'll finally have to face his own past, and accept who Oscar really was — only then can he reclaim his name and place in a harsh world. Rain Down is hard-hitting crime noir with a heart. What our no-name man, Travis Bruner, discovers is that his mentor Oscar had actually committed suicide on a job site, and it got covered up. So in tribute, Travis resolves in the end to become the person Oscar just quite could not be, and he overcomes his own struggles with suicide and depression this way. The story works as a straight amateur sleuth mystery, but also as a coming-of-age tale with a message and a commentary on ambition and greed. As a compact novella, it basically serves as a polished treatment for a feature. As a contemporary urban tale, it could be filmed on a relatively low budget.

    Brief

    It's 2009 and the economy is struggling. A homeless day laborer named Travis Bruner finds that his friend has gone missing and new cops have showed up in his neighborhood. While looking for answers to his friend's death, Travis has several run-ins with a condo-developer and his wife, who he pins as the prime suspects.

    What We Liked

    - The story comes out of the perspective of a homeless man who is too clever for his own good. Gruff, disloyal and seemingly lacking all motivation--it takes the death of his friend to kick him into gear;
    - While looking for answers, the reader gets a perspective on what it's like to dwell in a homeless neighborhood and care for an addict. The cops that approach the protagonist are, for the most part, friendly and empathetic;
    - It has a more-than-ordinary story line with an ending you won't see coming.
    - Vengeance for a friend;
    - Taking down the ""powers-that-be"";
    - Solving a murder;
    - Salvation story;
    - Caring for an addict.

    Synopsis

    Protagonist is a homeless day laborer with a drug-addicted ex. His best friend works for a developer who thinks he's a super star, and that's how our protagonist has been getting his money. Protagonist works with his friend on the job site for a while until one night he goes home early without his friend.

    The next few days his friend can't be found. He asks the other day laborers, and the security guard on the job site but no one has seen him. Then he goes to ask the developer and even the plainclothes cops that have turned up in his neighborhood. No one gives him a sharp lead but the richy developer gives him a funny feeling so he decides to meet up with him again.

    That night, while searching around, protagonist finds his friends body mangled on the train tracks. The next day the developer confirms his suspicions, something happened to the friend on the job site after protagonist left. Triangle forms between cops, protagonist and developer--no one knows who is ratting on whom. All the while protagonist is trying to help his addicted ex get out of her shitty life and get clean.

    The back and forth continues for a few weeks until it turns out another player, developer's wife, is the dead friend's sister. She talks with the protagonist and eventually gives him the story: protagonist's friend killed himself and she saw him do it.

    In the end the developer takes the blame, the protagonist lies to the cops about what he knows, his ex gets clean, and he goes on to start a new job to help his fellow day laborers get safer jobs/working conditions.

    About The Author

    Steve Anderson is a historical fiction author writing novels to introduce little-known aspects of historical events, mixing in overlooked crimes, true accounts, and neglected underdogs.