1.Story Statement: Lara Arducci is abducted from her small town and whisked across the country by an affluent man. Her captor, Jon, wants her to assume the identity of his missing daughter. Lara is hesitant and fearful of going along with this delusional plan until she receives some coaxing from an unknown person. Reluctantly, Lara takes on the role of Jon’s missing daughter only to discover he is hiding more than anyone could ever imagine. His secrets are the key to her freedom and reveal secrets from her own family’s past she never knew existed.
2.Antagonist: Jon Alderidge is a man of wealth and power who plays by his own set of rules. Money is no object, and he uses it to line the pockets of anyone he deems useful. If you stand in his way, he has no qualms about committing murder to get what he wants. His narcissistic personality drives him to believe he is untouchable. He is a widower who never remarries. With the death of his father and sister, all he has left is his daughter, Natalia. After he forces Natalia to disappear, he is unable to deal with her absence, so he abducts Lara to replace her. Jon believes that he has charmed Lara into going along with his plan, unaware that she has her own motivations. When Jon discovers her betrayal, Lara finds herself fighting for her own life.
Another antagonist is Lara's father, Mitch Arducci. Mitch is similar to Jon. He is a powerful attorney who is used to getting his way. Coming from meager beginnings, he was driven to obtain more and went to extreme lengths to get it. He is the catalyst that sets everything in motion back when Lara was only a few months old. Mitch sells Lara's twin sister, Lilly, to gain the financial stability he needs to be successful. Through a series of events, Jon ends up with Lilly, who he renames Natalia. Mitch is also the person who brings the private eye in to search for Lara. This leads to the discovery of what Mitch did and is who ultimately brings Lara home. The revelation of Mitch's actions changes Lara emotionally and affects her future relationships with friends and family.
3.Title: Secrets unraveled
A second chance
A daughter’s revenge
4.Comparables: A Reason to Live: A Marty Singer Mystery by Matthew Iden
5.Hookline: Thrust into a world of privilege, where there are no rules, Lara must uncover the secrets of her captor if she ever wants to make it home alive.
6.Conflict: Lara’s primary conflict surrounds the entire situation with Jon. She struggles on many levels. Jon terrifies her, but she knows that she has to uncover his past for her sake and for his victims. Jon brings her to the brink of death, but she still feels the need to help those he has already hurt. She knows Jon needs to be stopped and that she is the only one who can do it.
Lara’s secondary conflict surrounds her emotional state. She is a strong, driven woman, but she is very fragile in the current situation. Jon breaks her down in the beginning by keeping her confined to a single room. The isolation is almost too much for Lara to handle. Once free from her confinement, she struggles with the guilt of not returning to her family and the turmoil she knows she is causing them by not going home. She is also struggling with the breakup she had with her boyfriend the day before she was abducted and the new man she meets while with Jon. She knows that she is sacrificing the chance at love by not revealing her true self.
7.Setting: The story follows Lara on her journey to uncover the truth and the private investigator hired to find her. Each chapter of the story takes place in a different setting. It begins in a small motel room and moves on to Lara’s hometown in coastal Maine. Primarily the main backdrop focuses on present-day California. The story travels from Big Sur to Los Angeles during the peak of the wildfires. Most of the scenes take place in areas of confinement-Lara’s room in Maine, her room at Jon’s house; at one point, she is in a makeshift dungeon. Most of these scenes are about what is discovered in the rooms and the emotional state of Lara. After Jon’s arrest, the backdrop turns into the Monterey County Sherriff’s Department, where he is interrogated. Jon’s trial follows, and the story concludes back in Maine.