The Other Oregon: A Thriller

Steve Anderson

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION CRIME MYSTERY THRILLER DRAMA.

    Core Theme

    GETTING AWAY WITH A CRIME AT ANY COST.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    MYSTIC RIVER, SLEEPERS, THE DEPARTED

    CHARACTER LIST

    • GREG SIMMONS: 38. LEAD. CURIOUS, LONER. HAS A DARK SECRET FROM HIS PAST.
    • DONNY WILKIE: 37. USED TO BE GREG’S BEST FRIEND. THEY SHARE THE DARK SECRET. MANIPULATIVE.
    • RICH TORRES: 50. FBI AGENT. CALCULATING, STRONG MORAL CODE, UNAPOLOGETIC.

    Logline

    A writer from the city gets a new start as an FBI informant investigating a militia movement in rural Oregon, but to finish the job he'll have to betray his estranged friend who shares a grim secret from their past.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Portland, Oregon; Pineburg, Oregon (fictional); Willamette National Forest

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (Yucca imprint)

    Year Published: 2015

    Starting Description

    When the FBI calls on Greg Simmons to go undercover to investigate a dangerous militia movement out in rural Oregon, he knows exactly why: his long-estranged friend from the country, Donny Wilkie, could have deep ties to the militia.

    Ending Description

    To make amends, Greg vows to help Donny get free of the FBI. But Donny refuses to believe Greg. Soon FBI agents surround Donny’s hideout. As Donny flees down a worn-out fire escape, it plummets down with him inside, and Donny dies. In the end, Greg helps Donny’s son and ex build a new life.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age, Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Gregg Simmons

    Age: 38

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Educated, Empathetic, Lone Wolf, Faithful, Underdog, Clumsy, Complex, Desperate, Modest, Adventurous, Aspiring, Perseverance, Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Donny Wilkie

    Age: 36

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Greedy, Charming, Criminal, Leader, Manipulative, Secretive, Seductive, Confident, Decisive, Engaging, Flexible, Insecure, Lone Wolf, Aspiring, Crazy, Masculine, Narcissistic, Perseverance, Unapologetic, Skillful, Aggressive, Desperate

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Rich Torres

    Age: 43

    Gender: Male

    Role: Tempter

    Key Traits: Blunt, Confident, Decisive, Perseverance, Aggressive, Aspiring, Manipulative, Lone Wolf, Masculine, Honorable, Secretive, Skillful, Strong Moral Code, Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Leeann Holt

    Age: 38

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Insecure, Naive, Empathetic, Romantic, Sarcastic, Secretive, Blunt, Desperate, Seductive, Underdog, Unapologetic, Aspiring, Engaging, Faithful, Uneducated

    Development Pitch

    Brief

    A big city writer returns to his small town in rural Oregon, forced to revisit a dark childhood secret he shares with an estranged friend, when he unwittingly becomes an FBI informant.

    What We Liked

    - Strong, original story; intriguing concept with twists and turns;
    - Cast of flawed and deeply engaging characters - great material for actors;
    - Action sequences and a murder mystery;
    - It shines a light on an important political issues currently faced in the country;
    - Cinematic sequences, strong arc, and compelling, memorable characters;
    - Well-suited as both a film and a limited series.

    Synopsis

    Greg Simmons, a 38-year-old writer living with his much younger girlfriend, Emily, is reminded of a
    dark secret from his past when he is contacted by the FBI for help in a case - possibly involving an old
    friend. When Greg meets with Agent Torres of the FBI, he is intrigued by the idea of writing about a
    Militia amassing in rural Oregon, but he is less excited about the prospect of facing his old friend
    Donny Wilkie, who was previously thought to be dead. He declines the agent’s offer.
    Greg relives the time he and Donny accidentally killed a security guard and buried his body in a remote
    area mountain near a lake. They have kept the dark secret to themselves ever since. After Donny’s
    presumed death, Greg thought he too would take the secret to his grave. Learning that Donnie may
    still be alive puts the fear of being found out back in the foreground. Greg decides to see for himself if
    Donnie is still alive. He packs to take the drive out of the city to the rural area Torres indicated.
    He is quickly reunited with Donny, who has changed his identity to Charlie Adler. He faked his death in
    Mexico and has now reinvented himself as the kept man of a wealthy heiress and land owner, Karen
    Callum. Donny takes Greg into his home. They are both wary of each other. As Greg starts to explore
    around town, Wayne Carver, a suspicious militia man, maliciously stalks him - which puts him on
    edge. Torres eventually discovers that Greg has gone behind his back and is doing research on his
    own. Now Greg has no choice but to become an informant for the FBI. Greg watches Donny with the
    militia men and it’s clear to him that Donny doesn’t really believe the nonsense. Torres is not
    convinced, but is willing to be open minded.
    Greg informs Torres of a militia prank that is about to take place. In an effort to keep his identity as
    the informant concealed, he hides out in the Callum house. Greg is surprised to find Donny there
    rather than pulling the prank with the others. Both Donny and Greg confront each other about the past
    and present. When they come to blows, Wayne surprises them with a shotgun. Suspicious of both, he
    is about to kill them, when Donny’s teenage son Gunnar shoots and kills Wayne. Donny insists on
    taking the blame and he goes on the run. With Gunnar safe with a neighbor, Greg returns to Portland.
    Torres ultimately tracks Donny to Portland and in an escape attempt, Donny falls to his death. Greg,
    his secret now safe, is unable to write a book about this experience per his FBI agreement. However,
    they set him up in an apartment. He forges a fatherly relationship with Gunnar and helps bridge the
    gaps between him and his mother, Leeann. Karen puts her own interests behind her and gives up the
    water/dam rights to the people of rural Oregon, and Greg has his previous work validated by fans as
    the story closes.

    About The Author

    The author of several novels on WWII, Steve Anderson, writes here about his home state. He is an editor and translator, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.