by Michael Hollins

"'Shorty is a good man, but I warn you, if you fail Shorty today, you will be very, very surprised how displeasing your life will become and surprised once again when your life ends so soon.'"

Want to read a movie? Hollins’ original screenplay describes what’s happening visually, dialogue tells you what the characters are saying, and your imagination fills in the rest. It’s a quicker way to move through a story—and if the story is good, as this one is, it’s no less compelling than a novel.

The plot revolves around Mona and her teenage daughter, Julie. Now living in San Diego, Mona is an ex-soldier who is widowed from her first husband and in the process of divorcing her second, BJ, who is a world-class creep. Julie is a bit on the wild side, but like her mom, she has a really good heart and has simply been the victim of bad breaks. Unfortunately, the breaks are about to get worse. Before you know it, Julie is kidnapped to Mexico and winds up in the middle of drug-running and human trafficking. As officials on both sides of the border fail to get the job done, Mona takes it upon herself to find her daughter and bring her back.

Hollins does a good job of keeping the plot plausible, the pace swift, and the action exciting. He’s also adept at breathing real life into his characters. Mona suffers from occasional Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the author realistically depicts her past memories inserting themselves in stressful situations. He captures Julie’s strength as well as her teenage angst. And his portrayal of how BJ’s initially charming exterior actually hides his true scuzzball soul makes for a villain you’ll love to hate. Yes, the heroes are the heroines in this screenplay that promises to be a first-rate film.

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