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Loglines
A grieving detective is tasked with solving the murder of a woman's ex husband, with their daughter as the prime suspect. As he goes deeper into the mystery, he discovers a connection between the case, and an accident that took the life of his former lover months ago.
When a man's body is found, the lead detective suspects his estranged daughter is the killer. Investigating further, he finds a connection between the current case and the one his ex-partner and lover died obsessively pursuing, sending him on a quest to solve both cases, and protect the innocent girl who is likely to take the fall.
A grieving detective commences a murder investigation seemingly unrelated to the one his pregnant girlfriend was conducting when she committed suicide. Soon enough, he realizes the cases might be connected, and finds himself unraveling the murky secrets of the victim’s troubled family which might be protecting an elusive serial killer.
Format
Genres
Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Cop/FBI/CIA, Dark, Detective, Dysfunctional Family, Film, Film Noir, Mainstream (studio), Murder, Psychological Thriller
Pages
119
Rated
R
Budget
Medium
Lead
M White 39 Attractive
Similar
The Black Daliah, Mommie Dearest, Sunset Boulevard, Top of the Lake (TV), The Killing (TV), Law and Order SVU (TV), Stoker, Every Secret Thing, The Secret In Their Eyes (Argentina)
When
Present, Several Weeks, with various Flashbacks
Where
100% Dunedin, New Zealand including a police station, several apartment buildings, a cabin, a motel, an auto repair shop, a bank, a gas station, a ferry station,a ferry, a restaurant, a diner, a lake, a mountainside, a steep residential street, an alleyway, and various streets

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Synopsis
Detective TRACEY-ANN PETERSON (35), pregnant and alone at a cabin, sees a news reporter showing the death of MEGAN BROWN (16), who was a witness in the unsolved death of CHLOE SHAW (16), a case that Tracey-Ann is investigating. She calls partner Detective VINCENT ZAMBRANO (39), expressing shock and fear over the news. She’s notices that she’s bleeding, and in fear, leaves the cabin. Just as Vincent drives up to meet her, she crashes her car over the side of a cliff and dies. Later, Vincent burns Tracey-Ann’s boxes of notes, evidence, and pictures. It’s clear that the two were involved, and that he doesn’t want to endure the pain of pursuing her case. Several months later, Vincent and current partner CHRISTIE SHEPARD (35) investigate the murder of DAVYN THORBURN (52). Vincent remembers him as someone who provided a lead in the Chloe Shaw case, but nothing came of it. Vincent and Christie soon suspect Davyn’s daughter MONICA THORBURN (22), with whom he had a meeting set at the time of his death. Vincent go to Monica’s home, where her mother ISABEL THORBURN (41), Davyn’s ex-wife, and uptight sister LEAH THORBURN (20), live. Isabel and her daughters have a disturbing,...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (RECCOMEND)
Vincent, a detective grieving over the loss of his lover months ago, is tasked with solving a murder case of a woman's ex husband, with their daughter, Monica, being pointed as the prime suspect. As Vincent delves deeper into the mystery while feeling Monica is innocent, he discovers a connection between the case, and the death of his lover. The latest draft of "Bonds of Betrayal" shows improvement over the previous entry, clearing up a couple unanswered points, and adding in some more character development involving Vincent, as he has a well defined arc, alongside an effective side story involving his journey to proving Monica's innocence. The overall flow is greatly improved upon, and the narrative as a whole feels stronger in the end, making "Bonds of Betrayal" in its new form a fitting entry into the detective genre....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
“Bonds of Betrayal” is a dense and gritty murder mystery about a detective who seeks to solve a case that’s linked to the death of his partner and ex-lover. The narrative serves as an exemplary murder mystery, and allows for the protagonist to have a relevant personal stake in its resolution, which coincides with a transformation of his own. Various compelling and complex ideas are at play in his characterization, and the narrative’s only apparent weakness lies in the fact that it’s hard to tell which one of these defines his most major flaw, and as a result, his evolution. There’s a bit of a dual-protagonist feel, which a supporting character whose own journey is perhaps more significant than the main character’s. Logic, pacing, and structure continue to be strong points, and while character, dialogue, and certain aspects of conflict continue to impress, they still warrant continued fine-tuning to help fulfill the significant potential that “Bonds of Betrayal” has always demonstrated....
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
Set in present-day New Zealand, “Bonds of Betrayal” is a police procedural about a detective whose latest murder investigation entangles him in the affairs of a troubled family which might be protecting an elusive serial killer. The premise is strong and rich in conflict, but might need a more defined hook to make a more compelling pitch. The character work is strong, with several improvements over the previous draft. However, there is still scope to improve characterization of both the protagonist and the serial killer. The narrative is dialogue-heavy, so dialogue might need more variety to be engaging. Slight adjustments to structure and subplots could provide better pacing. The craft is professional, making the narrative a smooth read....