Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Patricia Gussin's "Twisted Justice"

Patricia Gussin is the author of Shadow of Death, which was nominated for Best First Novel in the Thriller Awards sponsored by International Thriller Writers, and the recently released Twisted Justice.

Here she develops some ideas for actors and director should Twisted Justice be adapted for the movies:
The heart wrenching drama of Kramer vs. Kramer and the violent scenario of The War of the Roses bracket the domestic deception and betrayal that explode onto the scene in Twisted Justice. No one ever really knows what goes on in another’s marriage and in Twisted Justice what appears on the surface to be the ideal family, in the blink of an eye implodes, spiraling out of control toward devastation.

The perfect lives of Laura, a surgeon mother – Steve, a television news anchor father – and their five great kids – disintegrate into a nightmare when Steve’s sexy co-anchor is murdered. Both Laura and Steve are successful professionals and dedicated parents. Each in their own way. Each motivated by their own agenda. Each with dark secrets they are desperate to protect. But how does Steve react when Laura is accused of killing Kim?

The part of Laura would best be played by a mom-actress. A great choice because she is a dedicated mother and such a versatile leading actress is Gwyneth Paltrow. At the crux of the drama in Twisted Justice is a mother’s worst fear. Separation from her children is a visceral emotion for any mother, an emotion that would surely evoke genuine empathy from a woman who loves her children as much as Gwyneth Paltrow does.

Steve turns out to be the character everybody loves to hate. He has his reasons, and because Twisted Justice is a mystery, they cannot be revealed here. Steve’s character could be played very well by Kevin Costner. He’s handsome, egotistical, yet insecure and vulnerable. It is Steve who sets off the downward spiral and tangled web of intrigue as he turns on Laura in the worst imaginable way when she is charged with Kim’s murder.

As Laura’s fight for freedom dissolves into a bitter battle, pitting husband against wife, five innocent children are caught in the crossfire. Fourteen year old, Mike; eleven year old Kevin; ten year old identical twins, Natalie and Nicole; and the most victimized of them all, eight year old Patrick. Five casting opportunities open to young actors and actresses to play the children. It is difficult to imagine the pain that these kids go though as their parents’ betrayals and deceptions plunge them into a world of mortal danger.

The action is fast paced in Twisted Justice. The emotional stakes are high. And just as in real life, justice can be twisted, but it is seldom ever thwarted.

The last question: Who could best direct Twisted Justice? Steven Spielberg, of course.
Visit Patricia Gussin's website and view the Twisted Justice trailer.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow of Death.

--Marshal Zeringue