Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meet Gideon Gold--Damron's Wonderful Character in First Novel!

Very Narrow Bridge    

By Hillel F. Damron

As is often the case, after I had met Gideon Gold in Unidentified Woman, I had to read his introduction in Damron's first in series novel Very Narrow Bridge!  What a unique novel! If possible, there is even more deep, thought-provoking tension in this complex drama of a family extended through adoption, marriage and the intervention of war...

Gideon Gold takes a direct, driven course in his first case, which turns out to expand into four different missing persons cases (two to find Joy!). Truly an unbelievable story, but one that resonates as a plausible outcome of today's world.

Gideon is semi-separated and taking care of his son while his wife is heavily involved in a presidential campaign. As always, Gideon is in need of money, since he has not yet made it as a screenwriter. So when a woman calls, asking for Mr. Gold, he realizes it's a mistake, but it is also a potential way to make money. Although he doesn't work for the Gold Investigations that was being called, he does identify himself as Mr. Gold--and decides to agree that he is a private investigator... As it turns out, he seems to have a knack for it, even if he does tend to get personally involved with at least one client...

So, he had just been hired to find this woman's daughter--a teenage runaway that had been gone for about a year, but was needed because her father was very ill...
What she neglected to tell Gideon was that their daughter, Joy, had been adopted...

And hates her stepfather...

Finding life better on her own, on the streets...

Joy is a joy to get to know. She's strong, intelligent and athletic, with a body that does more harm than good, except that she had learned what men want and was willing to meet them there, but on her terms. Reading about Gideon's introduction into her world will help you to know the type of man he is, as he stumbles, first, but then adapts to asking the right questions of the street people and finally finding Joy dancing, in a nude bar. There we meet the talented teenager who has a routine established, caring not whether she got any tips for displaying her beautiful body. Let's just say that Gideon was not unmoved by her. But he takes it very easy and finally convinces her to talk to him.

And Joy made contact with her mother...

But then almost immediately hired Gideon to find her "real" mother... Which he does, but she decides not to take his advice about contacting her, and arrives at her house at dinner time, and walks in to meet her mother's husband and two sons... NOT a happy reunion, since her mother had never told her husband about the baby she had given up! But Ursula did want to meet her girl and was very interested in having her live with them, until her husband put the pressure on, while Joy had taken off for a few days...

Joy's mother told her that her real father was she takes the trip to Washington to find his name on the wall for Vietnam Veterans...but it wasn't there... And the fourth missing person case came to Gideon's attention...

I found it interesting that the book blurb, to me, gives the climax to the story not sure why... But I must tell you that the entire book is, in my opinion, one of the best stories that illustrates how family relationships can and will affect the rest of your lives. Joy was lost within the demands of her family before she was even born--and when her adopted parents gave her the life they did, she chose to leave and live on the streets. In my opinion, Gideon Gold represents perhaps that one person who finally enters a street kid's life and, being able to gain the trust of that child, helps to reclaim that life.

The ending wasn't surprising to me. In fact, Hillel Damron chose the hard way--he didn't provide us with the happy ending that we all want. Gold somehow makes us privy to all the details, but we get so involved with the overall story, that we don't necessarily see the conclusion he knew had to come... Damron faces family relationships, and places readers in the position of seeing the thoughts of envy, desire, need and jealousy but also love--all those feelings we often hide inside except when they erupt and there are no holds barred--and murder happens...

If you walk a Very Narrow Bridge, you just might be pushed off... I salute Hillel Damron in his willingness to merge intimacy within a murder mystery in such a poignant manner. I certainly hope that Damron will bring Gideon Gold back into my life soon. He's a special character that simply must not go away... Highly recommended!


Hillel F. Damron is the winner of Moment Magazine 2011 Memoir Contest Prize. He was born in a kibbutz in Israel to parents who survived the Holocaust. He was an officer in an elite paratroops unit, experienced war and was wounded in battle. He studied filmmaking at the "London Film School," directed TV documentaries, video shorts and a feature film. He wrote film reviews, published short stories - one received a "Fantasia 2000 Magazine" award - and a sci-fi novel: "The War of the Sexes," referred to by the American "Science-Fiction Studies" as "the best of all Israeli sci-fi literature." His short story, "The Messiah" - an excerpt from "Very Narrow Bridge" - was published in "Sambatyon," a literary journal in Northern California.
To learn more about him and his work, visit his literary website:

A note from BRH...when I was looking for a picture, I found that there was a song by the same title. I have no idea whether the author had used it as background to this novel. But I loved the song! I hope it adds to your enjoyment and thoughts about the title...and not be afraid at all... Thanks for listening!

Here are the words in English:

The Whole World
is a Narrow Bridge

The whole world
is a very narrow bridge
a very narrow bridge
a very narrow bridge 

The whole world
is a very narrow bridge - 
A very narrow bridge.

And the main thing to recall - 
is not to be afraid - 
not to be afraid at all.

And the main thing to recall - 
is not to be afraid at all. 
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