ENGINEERING A MURDER
ADVENTURE CRIME DETECTIVE DRAMA MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER ACTION
IAN TRIGUE (TIM NELSON)
Tom is criminally indicted & forced from job by playboy Matt after CEO dad dies. He then employs unqualified girlfriend in more senior role. Tom seeks murderous revenge and after illicit affair with Matt's estranged wife, puts all guilt on girlfriend. How can this work out? The story will tell!
Boss's unqualified girlfriend Denise revises engineer Tom's railway part design to cut cost. It fails, killing man in USA. Tom is wrongly implicated & jail's threatened as boss Matt wants him as a scapegoat and reason to divorce wife Claire after death of a son. Tom must get revenge or go to prison
One murder leads almost inevitably onto another to escape the first. Tom now has to kill boss's girlfriend Denise & make suicide look like her admission of guilt, but wife Claire's suspicion means she aborts Tom's baby. Distraught as his world closes in, Tom commits suicide in a spectacular fashion.
ALL IN ENGLAND
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Name: TOM HARMISTON
Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Educated,Honorable,Insecure,Naive,Underdog,Selfless,Skillful,Romantic,Lone Wolf,Desperate
Additional Character Details
Name: MATTHEW WARD
Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Criminal,Greedy,Masculine,Narcisstic
Additional Character Details
Name: DENISE LOWERY
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Criminal,Greedy,Leader,Seductive,Sexy
Additional Character Details
Name: CLAIRE WARD
Key Traits: Underdog,Charming,Desperate,Empathetic,Insecure,Naive,Seductive,Romantic,Sexy
Everyone likes to see an underdog win against overwhelming odds, especially when it involves intrigue, sex, lies and murder. This is a clever story that could happen when the main character fights back against someone who tries to destroy him, but then initially ends up winning this adversary's estranged wife. Together they plan to murder the husband and exonerate themselves by putting all blame squarely on his new girlfriend. Trouble is, she then has to be killed in an apparent suicide to make them appear free of guilt. This second murder turns things sour when the wife fears for her own safety from the protagonist and he loses everything. A real rags-to-riches and back to rags story that is gripping and uses simple settings, involves only five main characters and no special effects. It does however end with a spectacular final scene.
SUSPENSE, THRILLER, ROMANCE, DRAMA
Tom's boss dies and the boss' inept son takes over as CEO of the transportation engineering company. The son hires his unqualified girlfriend to be Tom's new boss. The girlfriend's mistake kills people, but Tom is the one to fight criminal charges. Tom falls in love with the new CEO's wife and somehow the CEO ends up dead.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
For the most part, the profile quite accurately matches the book especially the character descriptions. The short summary is very succinct about the plot, but maybe leaving more mystery to the culprit would entice people to experience the story without knowing the ending. However there is no distinction that Claire is Matt's wife and Denise is Matt's girlfriend and neither are Tom's. The pitch does a better job about showing Claire's accomplice status is Matt's demise, but the summary makes her seem entirely the victim.
Draw of Story
The sordid power dynamics and love square between Tom and Matt and Denise and Claire is great. It is imbalanced in the physical and financial favor of Matt and yet the emotional strain is in Tom's favor causing the tension to break in a way that at first benefits Tom.
The characters of Claire and Tom have a disadvantage, but their identity seems as if it centers around being victim. There is less investment in them because they are so fixated on how Matt took advantage of them, that their vengeance can seem over the top when their interaction with him is at will. Yes, Claire has to deal with being an abuse survivor, but there is no reason Tom couldn't simply have found another job before resorting to murder.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that Tom's CEO Matt is hooking up with Tom's new boss, but that Tom is hooking up with Matt's wife. Matt may be the bully, but Tom is going to have the last word. Both Tom's desperation to gain power and Matt's desperation to regain control start to make their power dynamic unpredictable.
This is a modernized film noir so it definitely could have a large fanbase based on similar murder mysteries involving female protagonists that have been successful in recent years. However, minimizing the understanding of Claire and Tom's abuse may make them less appealing especially due to the second murder and thus makes the marketing potential smaller.
This is unlikely to have awards potential unless the trauma behind the abuse of Tom and Claire makes their murder plot more empathetic. At present their range of emotions and all of the characters are deliciously unlikable, but that creates less investment in their success as characters and thus less recognition for acting nominations. More sympathy for Tom and Claire and less callousness and higher stakes may make Tom's spiral seem more sympathetic to garner notice as a protagonist with an antihero status rather than as a unclear antagonist.
Similar Films/TV Series
SIDE EFFECTS, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, GIRL ON A TRAIN, GONE GIRL, NIGHTCRAWLER, THE GIFT, THE LOFT
What’s New About the Story
The originality of the story stems from its murderer being the center of the film noir rather than the investigation and private eye detective. This fresh take on perspective invigorates the downward spiral of violence to evade the police providing surprise moments rather than the standard police racing to solve the case. Making Claire and Tom's actions more tied to ending the cycle of abuse as trauma survivors and less to be together and take down Matt rather acting like adults, would help justify their actions. At present Tom's fixation on his childhood and pettiness towards Matt seems whiny at times rather than a life and mindset that he feels trapped in.
Tom and Claire are both victims of Matt's abuse. Claire is a physical abuse survivor and Tom is an emotional abuse survivor. Both are desperate and insecure which leads them to make unhealthy choices to try to escape their situations.
Uniqueness of Story
This is a neat take on the film noir, with good character dynamics, but within the characters themselves it is hard to figure out who is in the right and supportable as the protagonists act just as bad if not worse in behavior as the antagonists.
Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Making Tom and Claire more likeable and relatable as victims rather than feeling as if there are four antagonists in the narrative. The pacing of Tom and Claire's relationship is very fast then takes a dip and then ends very fast. The ending is jarring and memorable, but rising the tension of Tom digging himself into a hole with more acts of violence as coverup could be more consistent throughout the second act to help make the ending feel earned rather than a rash act during the interrogation.