When a apathetic policeman's new-born son is kidnapped he will do everything in his power to expose a corrupted Chinese state and it’s network of child traffickers to get his son back.
I think you’ve got the elements, just tighten it.
One comment, try a better flaw than “apathetic”. Something that relates a bit better to the theme/story. Certainly after his child is kidnapped he won’t be apathetic.
“Fighting a corrupt Chinese state and a network of child traffickers, a [flaw] [Australian?] policeman must rescue his kidnapped son”
Isn’t the story set in the China; ergo, the policeman is Chinese?
I think this is a strong concept, lots of possibilities. But it’s unclear to me whether the child traffickers operate:
Because the system is corrupt in general.
Because the authorities allow the child trafficking –they are paid off to look the other way.
Because the child-trafficking is run by the police.
As far as a “flaw”, how about a “loyal” policeman instead? To heighten the outrage: they’ve not only stolen his son, but his fellow cops and the system he blindly put his faith in, has betrayed his loyalty by not helping him.
It’s his fellow policemen who are apathetic.
So, something like:
When child-traffickers steal his new-born son, a loyal Chinese policeman must fight against apathetic superiors and a corrupt system to get his son back.
The flaw of apathy was something I struggled with. What I was trying to communicate was that this policeman had a practiced apathy for the reasons of self-preservation. Corruption amongst police officers and the State is rampant in China and always has been. So is Child trafficking.
The hero of my story has, despite being morally uncomfortable, taken money from his peers and turned a blind eye to their crimes to fit in, get along and remain a police officer. He’s sacrificed his high moral standards just to keep his job. He’s the opposite of Serpico – where Serpico was faced with corruption he took it head on. In a way, the hero of my story has been hiding. And the moment his son is taken, it forces him to confront the issues head on.
dpg, thanks for the positive feedback. Yes you are correct, the policeman is Chinese and the story is set in China.
The child traffickers operate because the system is corrupt in general. The police don’t directly run the child trafficking, but they do turn a blind eye to it. To keep international watch dogs off their backs, they’ll occasionally do raids on child trafficking networks but it’s all just a show so groups like UNICEF shut up.
Two possible routes for this story.
In one version, the policeman is young, naive and straight out of training. His son is kidnapped. His goal is to find his son and in the process of trying to get help he is confronted with apathetic superiors and a corrupted system. The logline for this would be:
When child-traffickers kidnap his new-born son, a naive Chinese policeman will fight apathetic superiors and a corrupt system to get his son back.
In the second version, the policeman is older, and has been part of the corruption himself for a long time – he’s turned a blind eye to it in order to survive.
When child-traffickers kidnap his new-born son, a world-weary Chinese policeman will struggle with corrupted, apathetic peers before taking things into his own hands to find his son.
I like both!
And the government policy of one-child per family raises the stakes: Ttis is not only his son, but the only child he’s ever supposed to have. And, as in most cultures (alas) boys are preferred to girls.
Best wishes with your story.