Synopsis Mystery Novel

Ugh. You got stuck writing a synopsis. Help is on the way.
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Synopsis Mystery Novel

Post by nikki12 » January 15th, 2020, 9:19 am


Looking for feedback on a mystery WIP of mine: Thanks!

A few hours before a deadly hurricane is forecast to hit Texas, single mother and chronic procrastinator, Ria scrambles at the last minute to stock up on nonperishable food items.

She gets a call from her married friend, Seema, inviting her to ride out the storm at her place.

The last thing Ria wants is another encounter with Seema’s sleazy husband, Vipul. But when Ria’s apartment is listed under mandatory evacuation, she has no choice but to accept her offer.

Ria and her son go to Seema’s house which is three times the size of their dingy studio apartment.

Ria tries to avoid Vipul who had in the past harassed Ria with lewd text messages. Being conflict averse, Ria never told Seema or confronted Vipul and she regrets this.

Seema has another couple taking refuge at her place – Her charming brother-in-law and his demure wife.
An interloper, Ria can only sense the hazy outlines of the family dynamics, but she is filled with unease. Seema is jumpy whenever Vipul is near their daughter. Seema’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law appear to be a picture-perfect happy couple, but Ria does not know what to make of the small round bruise on the sister-in-law’s waist.

When everyone turns in for the night, Vipul sneaks into Ria’s room and makes a pass at her. Determined to stand up for herself this time, Ria ends up slapping him. Seema walks in and instead of believing her, she accuses Ria of sabotaging her marriage.

Utterly humiliated, Ria wants to leave the house, but the streets outside are flooded making driving risky. For her son’s sake, she must wait till the morning for the water to recede.

In the middle of the night, Ria discovers Vipul dead in the study, his throat slit. The windows are open, and his gold chain is missing suggesting burglary, but his laptop is not taken and there are no struggle wounds on his hands.

Police are occupied rescuing folks trapped in the floods. Networks are jammed, and everyone is stuck in the house for the night. The family closes rank against Ria, Seema in particular is antagonistic towards her. When a blood covered knife Ria had used previously to make salad is found in the trash, Ria realizes she has gone from main witness to prime suspect. Someone used her presence as an opportunity to commit a crime and she has till daybreak to find the real murderer.

Fight or flight. Ria is inherently passive, so she skews towards the second option and looks for a way to escape. Seema’s brother-in-law’s SUV is parked behind her car blocking her way out, so she steals the keys. When she discovers an old photograph of Seema and her brother-in-law, she suspects them of having an affair. She thinks of warning Seema’s sister-in-law but reconsiders it.

When Ria goes to the bathroom adjoining the study, she spots a stain of a blood on the knob of the door which opens into the study. She realizes that the killer had not escaped through the open window, but instead waited in the bathroom. Ria is relieved that in the DNA from the blood lies the keys to her freedom, if only she can survive the night.

When the squall worsens, water gushes into the living room. Everyone races to the second floor. Seema’s brother-in-law tries to find access to the roof from the attic. He warns that if the water levels keep rising, the police won’t find just one body in the morning.

Ria’s stomach sinks as she realizes that if the bathroom is flooded, the last evidence of her innocence will be wiped out.
She decides to be proactive for once and figures out that Vipul’s last minutes on earth will have a clue to his death.

Ria wades through knee deep water in the study. She is able to log into his laptop after a couple of unsuccessful attempts and discovers a lab document. She realizes who is the killer.
She tries to log into his laptop but cannot guess the password. She thinks about his arrogance and guesses out the password is set to welcome. She finds a lab document and realizes who is the killer.

Vipul had contacted a laboratory service for DNA matching. He suspected his daughter wasn’t his.
There is a showdown in which Ria confronts Seema with the truth. Ria also assumes that Vipul’s younger brother is the father.

But Vipul’s younger brother is innocent. Seema had an affair with her colleague. Her sister-in-law points a gun at Ria. She helped her to eliminate Vipul. The bruise Ria had observed was an IVF mark. They needed money for treatments and Seema promised a payoff.

Seema and her sister-in-law offer Ria a way out – All she must do is lie and say a burglar got Vipul.

Ria knows it’s the easy way out, but she wants to do the right thing and be honest for the sake of her son. She refuses and ends up getting dead.

In the epilogue, we see that Vipul’s brother has adopted both Vipul’s daughter and Ria’s son.

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Re: Synopsis Mystery Novel

Post by J. T. SHEA » January 31st, 2020, 6:05 pm

An interesting mystery thriller with a downbeat ending. Your synopsis is clear and succinct,

Just one quibble:-
“She is able to log into his laptop after a couple of unsuccessful attempts and discovers a lab document. She realizes who is the killer. She tries to log into his laptop but cannot guess the password.”
That could be (mis?)read to suggest you're referring to two different laptops.

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