In The Heat Of The Night
They got a murder on their hands... They don't know what to do with it.
Wabaquasset is a small blue collar town in Quinebaug County, a rough, rural, and poor region in New England where opportunities and jobs are hard to come by but where racial problems, drugs, and liquor are plentiful. Things begin looking up when a young wealthy businessman, Andrew Packard, moves in with a promise to set up a new jewelry factory. Not just Wabaquasset but much of the entire region is desperate for a concern that hires locally, pays well, and will contribute more than just property taxes.
Things get much more complicated when Packard turns up murdered. It is clear that the small local police force (plagued by corruption and ineptitude) is overwhelmed. When the local chief picks up a young local black man, based on flimsy circumstantial evidence, it not only jeopardizes the investigation it stokes already simmering tensions. Political pressure forces the Narragansett State Police to send in their best detective, the brilliant, if eccentric, Detective to take up the homicide case and dealing with the chaos of the locality.
Meanwhile the deceased investor’s gorgeous Chinese-descended Widow, is notified by Andrew’s mysterious backers that they have hired an elite investigator of their own. Described as a “corporate risk management specialist” The Cleaner arrives with a shocking amount of knowledge about her and the investigation. While the authorities are interested in solving the crime, Cleaner makes it clear that her employers are interested in protecting Widow and her late-husband’s business interests. The mysterious and stunning half-black/half-Italian Cleaner quickly gains Widow as an ally and introduces herself to The Detective.
The women instantly take a strong dislike to one another and both have deep suspicions between them but both are ordered by their superiors to work with one another. But as the anger of the residents, the local leaders, the state government, the corporate masters, and other, more mysterious and obscure power players all begin to boil over, Widow, the Cleaner and the Detective begin to learn about what kind of mess they’re in... and about each other.
This story is more collaborative writing project that will focus on issues of race, social class, corporate intrigue, female-female romantic and sexual relationships, and the crossroads of justice and power. As the title implies this is based on the classic film In the Heat of the Night but with obviously big differences. I’m more than flexible on a lot of the details but the one thing I’d definitely love to explore is the oft ignored interracial lesbian relationship. Re-imagining one of my all time favorite movies is exciting too!
Although I would like quite a bit of romance between the characters this is an idea that is driven heavily by plot and mystery rather than sex. You would be writing for one of the three characters (The Widow, the Cleaner, or the Detective) and while I do have the possibility of a Love Triangle one of the characters can be drawn down (most likely The Widow) to keep the focus simple. There are three sample characters below any one (or two) of which you can replace with characters of your own.