Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unidentified Woman is Unforgettable!

"In the Mossad, too, there were similar
stories. Especially one from the early
days of the organization when, as a reprisal
for the rape of a young Jewish girl, an
unauthorized crew of Mosaadniks did the
same thing to the Arab rapist. Gideon
always wondered, then as now, why
would someone do such a thing? Maybe
there was a clue for him there, in what
some renegade individuals in the Mossad
did years ago. In Israel.
Good literature boils down to two things: 
How interesting is the story you are telling, 
and how interesting is your telling. HFD 

Unidentified Woman

By Hillel F. Damron

Out today
is the latest novel, Unidentified Woman, by Hillel F. Damron. It is an unforgettable story that you shouldn't miss! Maria Sanchez is a young girl when you meet her, walking to school with her best friend when a large car drives by, opens a door, grabs Maria and takes off--never to be seen by anybody there in her home town...

This is not a new theme, unfortunately. There are tales about human trafficking, kidnapping of young girls, and worse in the news. But, have you ever been personally involved with just one of those victims? Have you heard her story, cried with her, held her in your arms, wondering what you can do to heal the pain of her body, her mind? Hillel Damron started following stories of these girls and his heart went out to them. Readers will easily see both empathy and sympathy reflected in his writing. He cares about these victims and the story he has created about a girl named Maria Sanchez resonates as we learn of her life and walk with her through her young life... Damron writes boldly, specifically sharing just what happened, but in such a provocative manner that, as I mentioned to him in my interview, it actually hurt to read it.

This novel is second in a series surrounding the character Gideon Gold--I loved this man! Many will find him somewhat old-fashioned--he's polite, considerate and not quite sure how to interact with the opposite sex, especially the young women he meets through his cases. The story is written from his perspective and so we get to know him intimately, including his thoughts about those women. But don't get me wrong, he is a former agent of Mossad, taught to respond to all actions from any enemy... Readers will find him exciting, but nonchalant, and his training is readily put in play when needed. Mostly through his verbal communication skills! Cool!

 I love the title and cover for this book. While we may come to know Maria very well, we know that Maria is just the image of each and every young girl that is brought to life by the author. You may be one of those young girls, or you may know a young girl who was sexually abused. But this unidentified woman was forced to suffer so much more, if we are even able to comprehend "more" after knowing that someone has been sexually abused...

Maria kept her sanity by writing letters to her best friend, Adela--perhaps in her head or on paper--but they were never mailed. Still she is able to share what is happening with someone who loves her, and she may even pretend that Adela is there with her arms around her as she shares...

There is much pain and anguish to share. First Maria had been taken to a big place, a farm, where she was put in the charge of a woman called Big Mama. But she had already been touched and hurt in the car and this woman is not her mama, who would have protected her! In fact, this woman probably would never believe her if she told her what the man did--or worse, not care! Soon, this woman claims that she will be Maria's mama now. Maria cried loudly and received her first slap, but that is nothing in comparison to what will come... Where did little Maria go?

Gideon Gold had gained somewhat of a reputation as a private investigator and now he was being asked to use those skills again, even though he had never proceeded to actually get a license! Sid Bergin had been killed! And his wife wasn't happy with the progress from the police in finding out what had happened. Actually, Gideon is a screenwriter, trying to make it in California, but, in the meantime, he needed to make money and this was a way to do it, according to his wife. The main thing Gideon had going for him was that he never gave up... Little by little he would find a small piece of information...and begin to put things together.

And when he put together that a gruesome murder took place the same night that... Except Gideon... Let's just say that Gideon has a gift in remembering and analyzing details... As more and more murders are committed, the police are baffled, trying to find some connection between men who were rich, but that had no other relationship to the others who had been killed...

Highly recommended first, because we need to know and respond to the increasing human trafficking issue in the United States...Check out the author's blog for more background on this! But also... Second, if you enjoy amateur (unlicensed) detectives studying the details of a case and  ultimately solving the case like I do, then you are sure to enjoy Gideon Gold's meticulous pursuit of the individual responsible for so many murders, distinguished by the insertion of a body part in the victim's mouth...

This thriller has a surprise ending that I simply "applauded" when I read it! If you enjoy mystery, suspense with a background story that is compelling, dramatic, and unforgettable, then I believe you will find everything you're looking for  when you read Unidentified Woman by Hillel Damron! And let me know what you think about the ending!


The challenge of the writer is to transform—artistically and imaginatively—a unique personal experience, or observation, into a universal, meaningful story. HFD

Hillel F. Damron is the winner of Moment Magazine 2011 Memoir Contest. 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." His final short film, "The Petition," represented the "British Arts Council" in the film festival in Tours, France.

In Israel, he directed TV documentaries, video shorts and a feature film, titled "Hasamba: The Undercover Kids." He wrote film reviews, published short stories - one received a "Fantasia 2000 Magazine" award - and a sci-fi novel: "The War of the Sexes" (Milhemet Ha-Minim, Hebrew edition), 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:

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