Please note, you are free to use these story ideas however you so desire. You can take them in their entirety and build on them, use them as sources of inspiration or even cannibalize them for spare story parts.
If you do this, all I ask is that you mention it somewhere on your blog, social media or in your book.
To Touch the Sun
Set in the near future, tells the story of Detective Franklin, an aging detective in the middle of a mid-life crisis who works for UCP (Unicity police). He lives in the Unicity, the largest city in the world, where crime is semi-legal: crimes may take place in the slums and poorer areas, but any perpetrated against the upper class citizens are met with brutal retaliations by the UCP. The city is controlled by several corporations, with Chronos Solutions being the largest and most influential. Chronos Solutions are currently building a massive building in the centre of the city, nicknamed "The Spire".
During his last week before retirement, Frank (as he is known to his colleagues) is called in to investigate a murder in The Spire. The victim's name is Deborah Van De Vaude, and she is the estranged daughter of Samuel Van De Vaude, the CEO of Chronos Solutions. Frank is asked to discover the identity of her killer and publicly bring them to justice. The narrative follows Frank as he investigates the increasingly mysterious murder; and Johnathan Stephos, a quiet, hardworking family man who appears to have killed Deborah, focusing on his guilt, reasons and complicated background.
It is revealed that a group known as The Sons of Justice (who want the corporations to leave Unicity to the people) forced John to kill Deborah to save his family, and that The Sons of Justice were supposedly funded by United Solar, the second most powerful corporation who would soon overtake Chronos as the largest in the city. Frank uncovers this, and, with John's help, brings the truth to light. However, when he confronts the CEO of United Solar, the elderly but ruthless Mr. Eric Sommerfield, he senses that something is amiss. Acting on his instincts, he heads to The Spire, where he finds Samuel on the top floor of the recently finished building. He reasons that United Solar had nothing to gain from Deborah's death, but Samuel had motive.
Using United Solar's involvement and John's testimony, he could crush the company legally and secure his hold over the city. Frank informs him that he has already told all of this to his captain, who will find the evidence. Samuel applauds him for his efforts, but cruelly states that even if Chronos were to disappear, another corporation would merely take its place, continuing the cycle of corruption and control. Samuel then jumps from the Spire to his death, quoting Icarus as he does so (The Spire was his wings of wax, and killing Deborah had been his arrogance that led to his undoing). In the epilogue, John is reunited with his family, while a retired Frank leaves the city, calling it a disease for which there is no cure.
It's Always the Butler
Set in England in 1966, the story takes place at the Ermingham Estate, where Eden Ermingham is returning from a boarding school in London where she has just graduated to visit her reclusive father, Lord Anthony Ermingham. However, when she arrives she is informed that her father has been found dead in his study, the door locked with no signs of forced entry. As a long-time lover of detective novels, she proposes that she try and solve the mystery, while they wait for the approaching storm to pass.
As Anthony was a long-time sufferer of depression, most of the staff and guests assume that it is suicide, but Eden does not believe that her father would take his own life. Eden begins her investigation, finding out some of Anthony's dark secrets. As she grows closer to finding out the identity of the murderer, her family's dark past is slowly revealed. She learns that during the war her father stole a large amount of money from a bank which his unit ‘liberated’ when they recaptured the town from the German army, which he used to build the estate. What's left is hidden in the underground crypt, to be bequeathed to Eden on her 18th birthday in two days’ time.
She interviews several people who were at the estate at the time of Anthony’s death, namely Justin, the family butler; Emily Sinclair, a stranger to the estate who refuses to explain why Anthony called her there; and William Mulberry, the son of a noble family who had come to ask Anthony for the chance to court Eden. At the same time she learns that Anthony’s last will and testament is missing from his safe. Eden eventually comes to learn the truth: Emily is her half-sister whom Anthony fathered during the war whilst he was in a POW camp (her mother was a nurse he seduced in order to escape along with his squad).
Emily has come to claim Anthony’s entire estate and the remaining money, stating that as Anthony’s eldest child it is her birthright. Anthony, however, could only offer her a third of his estate, explaining that he was giving the rest to Eden, his daughter, and Justin, his oldest friend who had saved his life countless times during the war. Eden learns that Emily made a deal with William after both of them faced rejection by Anthony (Anthony told William that Eden would choose her own husband): he would help her kill Anthony, thereby allowing him to comfort Eden in her time of grief and Emily would claim the entire estate as her inheritance.
However, with Anthony’s will missing his estate will legally fall to Eden. Upon realizing this, Eden is attacked by Emily and William, who have decided to eliminate all witnesses and steal as much of the fortune as they can carry. Eden is saved by Justin, who knocks out William but is mortally wounded. Eden is able to defeat Emily, and holds Justin as he passes. He explains that he stole the will the moment he discovered Anthony’s body, suspecting foul play by Emily.
In the aftermath Eden sells the estate and returns the money to the bank it came from, musing that she would trade all the money in the world for one last conversation with her father. However, as the estate is being sold it is discovered that Anthony wrote hundreds of letters to her whilst she was in London, although he never sent them (he reckoned that she had chosen to study in London because she didn’t want to be close to him). Reading them, she is able to gain closure, before finally leaving the estate behind her…
Blurring the Line
Set in present day New York, the main character is Rookie Detective Franklin "Franky" Burrows, who is partnered up with veteran detective and NYPD legend Logan Grey for his first case. They are tasked with the pursuit and capture of a new serial killer, known only as Cutthroat, who received his or her namesake from the brutal method of murder: slitting his victim's throat with their left hand and letting them slowly bleed out.
They soon discover that all of his or her victims are either former criminals or have been prosecuted but never convicted. As more bodies appear and the pressure mounts, Franky comes to see Logan as a surrogate, albeit cold, father figure. Franky, who comes from a poor neighbourhood and a family with a bad reputation, became a detective to try and distance himself from his upbringings, while Logan, who was raised in a wealthy household, joined the force to protect the weak.
However, at one of the scenes, Logan is surprised, and declares that the murder was committed by a copy-cat, despite there being no evidence to prove it. As they bond, Logan slowly opens up to Franky, and tells him about his failed marriage, and his 19 year old daughter who is the only source of light in his life. He also tells Franky about a case in which a young woman was raped and killed, which he says changed him into his current grim attitude.
Eventually, they catch up with the killer, and he is shot by Logan (using his left hand, he had always been right handed before), causing Franky to demand answers. Logan, in return, pulls his gun on Franky, before admitting to being Cutthroat (the man he had just killed was the copycat, he had been manipulating evidence since the beginning). When Franky asks him why, he tells him that the woman who was raped and killed was his daughter, and that the people responsible were never found.
Additionally, he tells Franky that he hand picked him to be his partner because he was the most likely to be able to figure out the truth (the guilt from the murders had subconsciously driven Logan to seek out someone to stop his rampage). Telling Franky that things have come to an end, Logan ends his own life before Franky can react. In the epilogue, hundreds gather for Logan's funeral after Franky lies and says that the man Logan killed was Cutthroat and that he fatally wounded Logan in the ensuing shootout, thereby ensuring that Franky would be treated as a hero for all time. Franky visits the graves of Logan and his daughter, promising to become a better detective so that no criminal ever escapes justice.
The Sapphire Locket
The Sapphire Locket tells the story of a woman, Greta Meiro, who is haunted by visions of her deceased twin sister, Tabitha, who was recently murdered by immolation and her killer is yet to be caught. Tabitha’s prized possession, a Sapphire Locket which they would swap whenever they met, is given to her by the police who fail who discover any clues. After several days of no news, Greta enlists the help of a local washed-out detective, Nicholas Furie, whose failure to catch a notorious serial killer, The Matchman, cost him his reputation and his marriage.
Together they begin investigating Tabitha’s death, quickly discovering that Tabitha was killed using a similar method to the Matchman. With more victims appearing, Nicholas becomes determined to solving the case and finally catching the killer who ruined his life. Eventually they track down the killer to an abandoned firework’s factory and are able to catch the man, Vincent Teague. Strangely, he does not recognize Greta, despite her resemblance to one of his victims.
With the police calling the case closed, Greta is not so sure. Her worries are vindicated when another victim is found. Greta returns to Tabitha’s scene of death and receives a vision from her sister. She goes to Nicholas and the two discover that Tabitha’s killer was actually Dominic Teague, Vincent’s father. Dominic committed the murders in the past, teaching his son how to emulate him, explaining the similarities between their methods.
Dominic had killed Tabitha in order to show Vincent how to cover his tracks. They track Dominic to the abandoned fireworks factory and learn that it once belonged to the Teague family who were forced into poverty after new laws banning fireworks came into effect. Dominic initially used modified versions of his fireworks to kill those responsible for the law, before growing to love killing anyone he could find. Tabitha’s spirit appears to Greta during the tense stand-off and whispers something to her.
Greta then throws a lit match at Dominic’s feet, which ignites an old gunpowder trail and immolates him, ending the threat of the Matchman once and for all. In the aftermath, Nicholas reapplies to the police force, having renewed his desire to help the needy. Greta says goodbye to Tabitha, before finally putting the sapphire locket on, signifying that she is ready to move on as Tabitha’s spirit vanishes…
If these Bones could Speak
Tells the story of an ex-MMA fighter, Hank Ronnager, who is framed for the brutal murder of his young daughter, Alice. Fleeing the crime scene, he is pursued by a stern police chief, Arthur Burnes, who hates the sport after almost losing his son to it (he was paralyzed from the waist down during a match). Hank goes to an old friend of his, Miller Grimes, a detective who would often protect Hank from bullies when they were children (this influenced Hank to enter MMA, as he wanted to become strong enough to fight back). Together, they investigate Alice’s death, finding a drug vial containing an unknown steroid variant and a protein bar that was popular with Hank’s old MMA comrades.
In order to find more clues, Hank is forced to enter the world of underground cage fighting. He learns that many of his former comrades joined after being kicked out of the legitimate tournaments due to their steroid use. While Hank slowly makes his way up the rankings in order to face the current champion, Saul Dornic, who is infamous for his role in supplying the new steroid to the other fighters; Miller investigates the other fighters and helps throw Arthur off of Hank's trail.
Eventually they discover that Saul made a deal with a shady pharmaceutical company to test a new type of steroid, which he did by giving it to the fighters and observing the effects during their matches. One of the fighters, however, had come across Alice and had killed her in a psychotic fit of rage (an unforeseen side-effect of the steroid) after she innocently insinuated that her father was stronger than the fighter was. Saul was forced to kill the fighter in order to hide the truth, and framed Hank for Alice’s murder in order to divert the police’s attention.
He did this in part because of a long-standing hatred of Hank, the only MMA fighter whose record Saul had never been able to beat. Hank, having fought his way to the top, challenges Saul to a championship fight, intent on using the event to expose Saul’s actions. During their fight, Saul admits to the murders, but also claims that he has taken a massive dose of the new steroid and that the truth will die with Hank. Hank is beaten back by Saul’s relentless attack, until he sees a vision of Alice cheering him on. Recovering, Hank is able to defeat Saul, who suffers a heart attack due to his overdose.
He survives, but becomes wheelchair bound and feeble, doomed to spend the rest of his life in prison and unable to defend himself from the gangs within. Hank’s name is cleared and he goes to Alice’s grave with Miller, telling him that he always appreciated his help as a child. Miller in return states that he became a detective in order to help people like Hank. Arthur then appears and apologizes to both men, stating that his son’s disability is not reason enough to be prejudiced towards an entire sport or the men who fight in the ring. Together the three men depart, forever bound by their shared experience…
Tells the story of Annabelle Storm, a junior detective who is investigating the murder of eccentric millionaire Howard Irons. The primary suspect is everyman Samuel Thrush who was found standing over the victim covered in his blood. Sam explains that Howard hated him and called him to his penthouse to brag about his company’s latest invention. However, when Sam arrived he found Howard dead from suicide and that he had arranged things to make it look like Sam had killed him.
Annabelle, finding herself drawn to Sam, agrees to help him clear his name. During the investigation Annabelle reveals that she moved to London after the unexpected death of her husband. As they investigate further, Annabelle finds more and more clues that point to Sam as the suspect, including the fact that he and Howard once worked together before Howard took their ideas and made a fortune, which left Sam broken and lead to his girlfriend leaving him for Howard.
Howard, who was secretly dying from a brain tumour, had tried to make amends before his death. However, just when it seems as though Sam is guilty, Annabelle discovers that Howard had written a suicide note in which he explains his guilt and his plan to implicate Sam, whom he still hated (born from jealousy over Sam’s superior inventiveness). After the trial concludes and Sam is deemed innocent, Annabelle discovers that Howard’s brain tumour had disabled his right side, forcing him to write with his left hand. His suicide note, however, was written in a right handed manner.
Annabelle retreats to her former home in the northern reaches of Scotland and invites Sam, now her lover, to join her in celebrating his freedom. Once he arrives, she accuses him of killing Howard. He admits it, saying that Howard had reached out to him, trying to make amends, but Sam wanted to kill him with his own hands as revenge for everything Howard had done. He plotted to make it appear as though Howard had framed him, which Annabelle would ultimately expose, vindicating him and clearing his name. He also reveals that he knew that she would be assigned to his case, and acted and dressed in a manner he knew she would find attractive (based on her dating profile).
He manipulated her to gain her trust and now, even if she were to publicly accuse him, no one would believe her as she has conflicting interests (he could simply state that she is accusing him due to them breaking up). He stands and moves to leave, telling her that he enjoyed their time together, although ultimately he found her boring, before collapsing to the floor. As Sam struggles to stand, Annabelle explains that she had given him a mild paralytic in his tea, and that her husband’s death had not been an accident. Instead, she had found out about his infidelity and had cut his brake lines before he left to visit his mistress.
She tells Sam that he should have dug deeper before strangling him with a rope and dressing the scene like a suicide. She phones her police chief and tells him that Sam came to her and confessed to Howard’s murder before taking his own life out of guilt. She then calmly leaves the house, taking one last look at Sam’s swaying figure before closing the door…