The Keepers

Tan Van Huizen

Book Cover

GENRE

THRILLER

    Core Theme

    This is a horror story about the uncovering of secrets kept by more than 300 years in the apparently calm town of Titicut. Such secrets may bring to surface situations not even God is able to control.

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    DARK (SERIES)

    CHARACTER LIST

    • Chief Elias Hicks, 40’s, villain;.

    • Carl Jenkins, 60’s, Cam’s dad;

    • Don Williams, 30s, reporter;

    • Henry Moonshine James, 40’s, villain.

    • Darrah Ryder, 17, female friend.

    • Nicole, 17, female friend.

    Logline

    Some secrets are so grave, they are better left buried and forever undisturbed, but when city reporter, Don Williams, arrives in town to investigate a cold case surrounding the disappearance of three men, the keepers must meet to protect what it's been hiding for more than three centuries, or else.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Male Leaning

    Setting

    Fictional town of Titicut, Southeastern Massachusetts.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Black Rose Writing

    Year Published: 2022

    Starting Description

    The story begins with a historical backdrop of evil that occurred three hundred years ago, shaking the founding fathers to the core. They would sign a compact before God swearing never to speak of the horrors they witnessed, for if it ever got out, they feared it would unleash hell on earth.

    Ending Description

    A member of The Keepers agrees to break his sacred oath and turn state's evidence against their order. This leads to an FBI raid at police headquarters where all officers are arrested and all property seized, releasing some of the main characters from custody, just in time.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1684339525

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Elias Hicks

    Age: 40ish

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Religious,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Leader,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Cam Jenkins

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Underdog,Charming,Sarcastic,Confident,Naive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Don Williams

    Age: 30

    Gender: Male

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Outspoken,Engaging,Sophisticated,Honorable,Gracious,Empathetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Henry James (Moonshine)

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Obedient,Complex,Skillful,Criminal

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, DRAMA, RELIGION, FANTASY

    Brief

    Don Williams is a reporter that arrives in the city of Titicut to investigate the disappearance of 3 men in 1973. However, the mystery is much deeper than it seems, as secrets that date back to more than 300 need to be uncovered to solve it – and the outcome may even out of God’s control.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Book profile is fairly complete.

    Draw of Story

    What drew me into it immediately is the setting of the calm city of Titicut and also the unusual turn of events that keep the story both relatable and completely otherworldly from the beginning.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me want to put the book down.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie because even though a thriller, author was able to add a more sophisticated atmosphere to it, be it in settings and also in the depth of feelings evoked by the plotline and characters.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could have a large fanbase if adapted mainly due to the specificities of characters and their capacity to create identification and from this point evoke feelings such as hate, love or urge for revenge, adding up more layers to the story than most common thrillers.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential because period settings and overall plot would allow – and require – great art direction. Classy photography is also a must in order to match the depth of layers and existential and religious dilemmas involved in the secrets kept by the Keepers.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    DARK (NETFLIX SERIES)

    What’s New About the Story

    What makes it special is the author’s capacity of creating a horror story that evokes more than fear, but a feeling of divine helplessness able to mess with the minds of even the most religious beings, along with some historical drama.

    Lead Characters

    Lead characters vary between naivety and malice, extremes that are delt by the author with ability and charisma, creating a dynamic of love and hate that is mutually fed.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It could be improved in terms of development and depth of female characters, who are only superficially described. The ending also leaves a few loose ends.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    I recommend it because thrillers and horror stories may become interesting due to its fear inducing characters but what takes this one to the next level is its capacity to evoke more than superficial drama. Even though it requires more work on story arch, author creates an unusually rich universe.

    Brief

    Don Williams is a reporter that arrives in the city of Titicut in order to investigate the disappearance of 3 men in 1973. However, the mystery is much deeper than it seems, as secrets that date back to more than 300 need to be uncovered to solve it – and the outcome may be even out of God’s control.

    What We Liked

    Thrillers and horror stories may become interesting due to its fear inducing characters and plotlines, but what takes this one to the next level is its capacity to evoke more than superficial drama. Lead characters vary between naivety and malice, extremes that are delt by the author with ability and charisma, creating a dynamic of love and hate that is mutually fed. What makes it special is the author’s capacity of creating a horror story that evokes more than fear, but a feeling of divine helplessness able to mess with the minds of even the most religious beings.

    Film: It would be a great adaptation for a film because this story brings a classy and unique atmosphere to its settings and overall feel; and a visual language that is both relatable and thrilling. Storyline has good pace and resolution leaves room for a sequence.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV due to the many layers of the plotline allowing the mystery to unfold through several episodes, with also a lot to explore about its main characters. The unfolding of the story also suggests a sequence, with would leave the story open for more seasons.

    Key points: Period settings; Charismatic characters; Classy horror atmosphere; Unusually developed religious plot-line.

    Synopsis

    The story begins presenting the inhabitants of Titicut. Officer Stevens gets a call and when he arrives at the abandoned car, he finds Carl Jenkins in fetal position, crying and shaking. After they interrogate Carl, he says he was put there by a creature with blood in its teeth.

    Then, the reader is introduced to Cam and Randy, troublemakers that robbed the lockers of the football team. Later on, the players’ truck gets drowned as they chased the two robbers. Cam and Randy are friends of Darrah and Niki, two young and girls that also help them keep the secret of the disappearance of the four players.

    Chief Elias Hicks is monstrous men that is introduced to the audience while interrogating Jenkins and describing the violence he practiced against his young boy and is also violent against Carl in order to keep him quiet, using God as an excuse. The reader later finds out that he is the head of The Keepers.

    Don Williams is a journalist, and arrives in town to investigate the story of three men that disappeared in a swamp in 1973 – John Hooke, Paul Andrews and Mark Fuller. Carl Jenkins was the lone survivor. Don is not welcomed by Sergeant Guthrie, who is Nikki’s dad.

    Don stays at an Inn managed by Henry Moonshine James. Henry tells Don about the history of the town and the war that happened there in 1675. Many mysterious events follow - it is the first time since 1675, during King Philip’s War, that reliable registries of the appearance of “the creature” emerged - and officer Stevens is killed. All the story behind the deaths of native inhabitants of the land emerge.

    Don tries to figure out if the creature really exists - part Condor, part man, part reptile.
    As confusion follows, Don partners with Cam in order to save themselves and understand what really is happening in the real and the underworld. The creature emerges from the swamp. The city is in lockdown. Overall confusion and deaths. Some people manage to escape, others disappear. Sergeant Guthrie understands that it would all be covered up by The Keepers, but with his help, FBI agents uncover Hicks and will finally put an end to centuries of wrongdoings.

    About The Author

    Chris Burns writes under his pen name, Tan Van Huizen. Van Huizen is a phonetic variation of the name “Van Husum” his 8th times great-grandfather’s name. Van Husum was a sailor for the Dutch West India Co., and the first of Tan’s maternal line to arrive in America, 1639. When Tan’s not writing, he enjoys researching family history, hiking, travel, driving “The Beast” his souped-up F-150 truck, and hanging out with his best friend and wife, Ann Stewart Burns. He and Ann live in Southeastern Massachusetts.