Carole Taylor is a party girl, a solo mother of meagre means trying to mend her ways and make a secure home for her two young children. But her past, in the person of former boyfriend Tony Michaels is threatening to shatter the security of the fragile world she has built. Carole has given Tony the push but he refuses to take no for an answer and keeps coming back. Carole tells herself she has the situation under control, but then he turns up at her home in the early hours one morning in blood soaked clothes and everything changes. Drug importer Alan Sheridan has been brutally murdered and Detective Inspector Andrew Hunter has Tony and his associate Freddie Prichard in centre frame for the crime. But in 1985 Auckland, police investigation is a laborious time-consuming process. This is a world before DNA profiling, personal computers and mobile phones. The only evidence Hunter has to nail his old foe Tony Michaels is a missing CCTV tape and two witnesses - Carole Taylor and her eight-year-old daughter Rosie. Against her will Carole and her children are taken into hiding by three unlikely policemen a tired veteran counting down to retirement, a gullible rookie and a would-be predator. Witness protection is in its infancy in New Zealand in 1985, and the officers charged with the Taylor familys security are under resourced, inexperienced and ill-prepared for the double threat they face. Tony Michaels is recklessly committed to finding and destroying the evidence against him the video tape recording his crime and the witnesses, Carole and her kids. By the same token Inspector Hunter is prepared to use whatever methods, legal or otherwise to ruthlessly bring Michaels to justice. Even it means using Carole, her kids and his own officers as bait. Holed up in a dilapidated bungalow, strangers in a rural town are difficult to hide. Trapped inside the house for weeks on end, cabin fever sets in, personalities clash, the situation begins to unravel. A solo mother with children by different fathers, a known associate of a drug dealing murder, Carole is not held in high regard by the cops charged with her safety and when she tries to leave her resentful protectors become jailers. Impatient for a result Inspector Hunter raises the stakes. Knowing that her cover is blown he withdraws the police detail leaving Carole to fend for herself. With no money, no phone, no-one to turn to Carole finally comes to realise that one thing that would destroy them is in the house with her and her kids. Paul, her nine-year-old son has unwittingly carried with him the evidence they all seek. He has retrieved and concealed the CCTV tape of Sheridans murder and now Michaels is coming to get it. With no-one to stand in his way what will become of her? Victim or survivor? Carole has nothing to rely upon but her own determination to protect her children at whatever cost to her own safety. SAFE HOUSE is the story of a struggle for survival in an unfamiliar and threatening world. It is based on the terrifying ordeal of one woman and her children in the early days of the witness protection programme in New Zealand.
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