A girl looks up and around. she is clearly confused. The audience has no idea who she is. But the dungeon like room and terrified look on her face suggests she’s in big trouble.
She tugs at her bonds, but there is no getting loose. She is strung up to a pipe. She seems to be underground, with just edges of window peeping in sun. Someone’s basement perhaps. Someone had her and her face shows she has no idea why.
Cut to the main character, a mystery novelist. He is clever, handsome and cunning and everything you could want from a mystery novelist, let’s call him “Nick Pastle”. He is in his home with his kids. He’s making dinner. The kids are doing kid things. there is light good natured banter happening and then the news comes on. Nick hears his name, assuming it’s some kind of press release, he turns it up. It isn’t.
It’s the girl, tied up in the basement, crying and reading something. She was already through most of it. Rick’s face falls as he hears her last words, “Please save me Nick Pastle or he’ll kill me.”
Youngest kid turns to Nick, “What does that mean Daddy?”
Cut to scene where Nick is at the police station. He looks visibly shaken as the officers sit him down and put a laptop in front of him. This time it’s the whole video.
(Something to the effect of you always solve these crimes, let’s see you solve one that actually means something. if you fail, you are responsible for her horrible death or what have you. He gives instructions, he explains they have three attempts to save the girl before he kills her and a few other pieces of info, including that he chose the girl at random.)
The video clearly states that he has to do this on his own. The video also requests that he has complete access to police conveniences like forensics and databases, but NO police involvement. He is to wear a camera that has been given to him and if at any point the signal is interrupted or police come to his door, the girl will be tortured.
Does Nick save the girl? Nice big scene as he weighs the pros and cons, the main con being he could never live with himself if he just closed his eyes and let this girl die.
He agrees after struggling with himself, to save the girl. Even his family thinks he has to try, even if it means living without him. As maybe the youngest says, “You need to be a hero in this, Daddy. People need heroes nowadays.”
Maybe a scene where he puts on the camera he is given and then the police escort him to show him how to use his resources. He’s always had access to them through his partner, but this is the first time he’s had to navigate them himself.
First rescue attempt. He has found the clues, put them together and is now attempting a rescue. He has the place and makes the attempt.
Regardless of the terms the police come charging in. The rescue is over before it begins – there is no girl when the police show up. But the kidnapper gives her a good beating, films it and sends it to the police.
Pastle MUST do this himself.
And then there is the big rescue! WOOT! fun times! They don’t catch the killer. But they save the girl!
A few days go by. The girl and Pastle get to know each other a bit. But it isn’t long before Pastle gets kidnapped and the roles are reversed.
The story will mirror the first one and end in capturing the kidnapper or killing him. I haven’t decided if there should be a romantic interest taking place between Pastle and the girl.