This reads like a “there was a four-line news item in the paper and I went and filled in the blanks” kind of story. The “retired law enforcement” person became Elena and “a possible Middle East connection” you made into Leo’s cousin in Dubai. Totally plausible events, as are the people you created. (I could be totally wrong, of course; my wife & I love these kinds of stories on TV, so I’m a tad biased.) I hope you keep going with Elena!