The suggestions were much appreciated. Many were woven in and the story’s raced to the end of the second 17 page chapter but now it’s necessary to pause and go back and lay the matrix of red herrings and quick references in the early text.
Part of that is deciding on who the killer[s] actually are, what are their inter-relationships and why they killed. Also how they got away with it. That’s been the bulk of Sunday gone. Rather than leave the unmasking until the end of the novella, things will be revealed by degrees through the text, which then alters the plot direction as each is found out.
There are two early places.
One is an imagined island off the west coast of Britain, bought by the Man but his Wife refuses to settle there with him. He goes alone, starting up a rare wool business but also runs a gite in the south of the island for hot boys who need an address to operate from.
Trouble with hot boys is they tend to take over.
The Man’s former Secretary in his dotcom business which went bust is asked to come and join him and he tries to run it as a non-intimate partnership for three years. He gets it into his head, once the thing becomes successful and they’re turning a pretty penny, to approach the estranged wife [who is a bit ac/dc] again for a last ditch attempt to get her to come into something successful but she doesn’t just refuse, she is very rude about it.
This is in the mainland setting of the Wife’s Father’s home outside an English town somewhere.
He’s a mechanic with a tidy business pulling in the shekels and the Man’s estranged Wife is Daddy’s girl. The Father has himself remarried some time back to a Femme Fatale 2 years younger than the Wife and she is trouble, or so it seems. She has a connection with one of the hotboys on the island. Everyone in the thing has an agenda of his/her own.
I’ve been thinking of making the Femme Fatale the main character.
The Wife storms out of the meeting with the Man, runs up to the stables and is found shot in the back of the head when he finally follows up there. He calls the Father and though there’s grief and angst, they stretcher her down and lay her in the hallway [see map], holding back from calling the police and ambulance. The Father thinks the killer is still up there and wants to find that person or person’s unknown.
A key factor is the gully beside the house. You go up a short incline from the house to get to the near ridge and thus the gully proper is not visible from the house. The storm drain takes run off from the gravel driveway. The laundry opens out to a yard but from there, anyone can get away to the town.
Some months later
The Secretary has married the Man. The Femme Fatale is invited to the island and gets up to no good. The first confessions start to be made. At this moment, I’ve stopped to lay the red herrings but have to bring in the investigating officer who eventually came in and the court result was murder by person or persons unknown. I’d imagine there’s a meeting in a pub on the mainland between the Man and the Policeman.
I’ve toyed with the idea of the Secretary being the killer whilst the Father and Femme Fatale seem a bit too obvious. It wouldn’t be fair to bring in some maid or manservant so the eventual expose of the killer will hinge on relationships not stated at the beginning but coming from the main characters.
Complicating factor is the discovery [get quiet] of a rare mineral found in a piece of rock which brings in the greed factor and that alters the plot.
Trying to avoid the straight whodunnit and/or melodrama, want to get some suspense in there as well as the mystery element, less raw sex than in the trilogy, more hard-edged romance, want to keep the motif from my other stories of outrageous things happening in the lives of very ordinary people and the way it changes them as people.
More a week from now or so.