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General Chat > Chloroform in fiction

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message 1: by Harriet (new)

Harriet Schultz I had intended to have a kidnapper use chloroform to subdue a victim and render her unconscious. I guess I've seen too many movies where this works, but my research shows that this is considered a trite fictional device. My novel is romantic suspense, not a police procedural, so can I use chloroform without readers shouting "cliche" before they throw the book down in disgust?

The victim is taken by surprise, so drugging a drink wouldn't work. I also don't want her to be injured, so bashing her on the head is out. Any suggestions or am I okay with the chloroform?


message 2: by Bill (new)

Bill That's a darn good question. I do wish I had an educated answer for you.. I don't know that it would be a trite device and if you wish to take the victim by surprise, it would be an effective technique I think.. or the simple pillow case over the head and throw into the trunk might work.. :0)

message 3: by Harriet (new)

Harriet Schultz Considering a injectable barbiturate cocktail or a stun gun if I can get "don't Tase me bro" out of my head.

Chloroform seems to be very 1920s and it's a contemporary novel.

I'd welcome reader/writer thoughts on this.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) I wouldn't raise my eyebrows at it. I think it's hammered into so many heads over the years that it's commonplace with kidnappers. Im not sure on the medical technicalities.

message 5: by Jerry (new)

Jerry (jerryhatchett) | 19 comments Hmmm, the idea seems "old" to me from a writing perspective, mainly because I used to see it in movies and TV and books all the time, but haven't seen much of it in many years. Other than in the real-life Casey Anthony case. :(

I like the injection idea.

Good luck!


message 6: by Harriet (new)

Harriet Schultz Thanks for your input Jerry, Erin and Bill. Chloroform would have been so easy, but the former journalist in me insists on accuracy even in fiction.

message 7: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown Well,I may be wrong, but chloroform is very bad for the kidneys - it can eat away at them, and I've also heard that it is just as much a risk to the person wanting to kidnap somebody (if it's not used properly.) It's potent stuff.

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