Back in the days of dial-up internet, when a web page would load in the time it took to make a decent sandwich, Howard Feck―a thirty-three-year-old receiving clerk and self-avowed dork―joins a chat room for singles in hopes of getting laid.
Enter: Lonely hearts chatroom queen Deborah Fairchild. Vivacious, sophisticated, and―best of all―absolutely delighted by Howard’s clumsy advances. She just might be the woman of his dreams. However, behind the computer monitor, hundreds of miles of phone line, and the false identity of the chatroom queen sits a violent sociopath, Debbie Coomb, who just might be the woman of Howard’s nightmares. For after years of heartbreak and abuse, Debbie uses her online persona to murderous ends.
Quickly finding himself kidnapped in Ms. Coomb’s secluded farmhouse, Howard decides his best bet is to go with the flow. After all, he’s in no hurry to get back to playing the role of lonely loser and loathsome co-worker at his dead-end warehouse gig. He soon morphs from kidnap victim to mildly mistreated pet, and eventually settles down with Debbie as a kind of partner. But when she becomes pregnant with twins and complications ensue, her violent tendencies come roaring back to life and it’s up to Howard to navigate his role as a father while protecting himself and the baby on its way.
Packed full of hope, horror, and humor, Howard & Debbie casts a strange and sensitive eye toward love in the digital age, domestic violence, and the dual costs of loneliness and revenge.