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Alan Cook

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Member Since: Jun, 2006

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Books
· Good to the Last Death

· Hit that Blot: A Carol Golden Novel

· Pictureland: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Dangerous Wind: A Carol Golden Novel

· Dancing with Bulls: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Relatively Dead: A Carol Golden Novel

· Freedom's Light: Quotations from History's Champions of Freedom

· Aces and Knaves

· Catch a Falling Knife

· Thirteen Diamonds


Short Stories
· Honey's Murder

· Freeway Exit

· Red Dress

· Antietam Adventure--Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Have a Nice Knife

· Echo's Story--Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Hot Days, Cold Nights

· Moon Over Murder

· Little Willie Chews the Scenery

· Freedom Sneezes--Matthew and Mason Mystery


Articles
· Grief: Why Writers Get it Wrong

· A Blog on a Blot: Backgammon Anyone?

· Are We in Dystopia Yet?

· Are You Normal? Do You Want to Be?

· Blaze a Trail: Do Something Nobody Else Has Done

· James Bond and Me--and a Few Other People

· Internet Backgammon (9 of 9) Glossary

· Internet Backgammon (8 of 9) Playing the Microsoft Computer Backgammon Prog

· Internet Backgammon (7 of 9) Psychology

· Internet Backgammon (6 of 9) Using the Doubling Cube


Poetry
· Librarian

· Witchcraft

· Mermaid

· Poet's Lament

· Amy Anne Diane

· Clarence High School Alma Mater

· Corporal Ed Lincoln, 23rd New York

· Can-Can

· Limericks--Lady from France

· Eyeful

         More poetry...
News
· 11 books at .99 on Kindle

· My books can be borrowed from Amazon Kindle

· Now 10 E-books for .99

· Amnesia Mystery Catching On

· 9 E-books for $.99

· My Books on Smashwords

· Awards for Run into Trouble

Alan Cook, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.
Books by Alan Cook

Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  AuthorHouse ISBN-10:  1452072345 Type:  Fiction
Pages: 

244

Copyright:  October 19, 2010 ISBN-13:  9781452072340


Price: $0.99 (eBook)
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Alan Cook, Mystery and walking writer

Carol Golden isn't her real name. She doesn't remember her real name or anything that happened before she was found in a Dumpster, naked and unconscious, on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California.

 


 


Carol Golden isn't her real name. She doesn't remember her real name or anything that happened before she was found in a Dumpster, naked and unconscious, on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California.

After helping her get some initial medical treatment, government at all levels officially declares her a non-person and doesn't want anything more to do with her. She can't work because she doesn't have a Social Security number, which she can't get because she doesn't have a birth certificate. She can't get a driver's license, and, having no I.D. she can't fly.

Fortunately, she receives help from Rigo Ramirez, the young man who found her, and his family. Frances Moran, a genetic genealogist who is an expert at identifying and finding people using DNA and the Internet, offers her services, but nobody appears to be looking for Carol. Nobody, that is, except whoever left her for dead. Is this person going to return to finish the job?

Carol must overcome the obstacles placed in her path by an unfeeling bureaucracy while she searches for clues to her identity. If the law doesn’t protect her, why should she stay within the law? In addition, as her situation gets publicized, the risk of her attacker finding out that she’s still alive increases.

Carol discovers that she’s an “action kind of girl” who doesn’t take kindly to being told what she can’t do, which is just about everything. She realizes that if she’s going to find out who she is, she has to travel to the East Coast and England and do whatever else needs to be done, regardless of the risks.

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

    

Excerpt
What Rigo liked best about his job as a dishwasher was taking out the garbage. This might seem counterintuitive to some people, but it gave him a chance to get away from the hot kitchen and into the balmy air, if only for a few seconds.

He had noticed this joy as a teenager when dishwashing produced his first real paychecks, not just a few small bills handed to him for dog sitting or babysitting. It was still true ten years later as he returned to the minimum-wage job of his youth, using it as a safety net during a recession that had closed down all possibilities of a real job for the proud holder of a newly minted master’s degree in psychology.

This was his first garbage run of the day. The brunch crowd was out in force on a sunny Sunday morning. They were better dressed and had fatter wallets than patrons of the typical Southern California restaurant, even if this meant their jeans were clean and they were just managing to make their monthly credit card payments. The recession seemed to affect everyone.

The gate to the wooden-fenced enclosure was unlatched. Carlos had taken his place as dishwasher last night while Rigo attended a tennis tournament. How did Carlos expect to keep out the raccoons, skunks, and possums that roamed the hillsides of the Palos Verdes Peninsula? Rigo would have a word with him. He opened the gate quickly and was happy to see no surprised varmint challenged him or scooted under the Dumpsters.

The green Dumpster lids were closed; at least Carlos had gotten that right. Rigo raised a lid with one hand, intending to swing the plastic trash bag up and in with the other. He stopped in mid-swing as something inside caught his eye—something in the enclosed depths that wasn’t black like the bags.

The bloated bag pendulumed back and hit him in the leg. He dropped it on the ground, heart racing, gulping air permeated with the stench of three-day-old garbage. He cautiously peered over the metal rim, hoping, almost praying, that what he’d seen wasn’t what he thought it was.

He jumped back, involuntarily, vomit rising in his throat, and the lid came crashing down. The noise startled him into full alertness. The patrons sitting outside on the patio would hear. This was no time for weakness. He swallowed hard and lifted the lid again, carefully, until it stayed open by itself. The Dumpster now took on the appearance of a coffin. Gripping the rim hard with both hands, he forced himself to look inside again.

The human arm he had seen led to a shoulder, topped by a head with short, dark hair. The body had sunk into the spaces between the bags, but Rigo could see part of a back and a leg. He forced himself to lean into the coffin and saw the curve of a breast on the other side of the arm. It was a girl—or a woman. She wasn’t wearing any clothes.

He thought he saw her ribs move. Getting up all his nerve, he touched her arm. It was cool but warmer than the air; she was alive! His heart leaped. He had to act fast. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his cell phone. It was turned off—“Cell phones must be turned off during working hours.” His hands were shaking so much he had trouble pressing the button to activate it.

It took valuable seconds to start up, but the alternative, racing into the restaurant and yelling that he needed to use a phone, would take longer and cause a panic. He didn’t want to leave the woman. He knew he could get service in this out-of-the-way place; he had made calls from his cell phone previously at the restaurant. When he finally saw the bars he pressed 911 with fumbling fingers.

“Nine one one. What’s your emergency?”

He cleared his throat. “There’s an unconscious woman in a Dumpster at Carlson’s Restaurant.”

The operator asked for his location. Of course—he was on a cell phone. “I’m at Golden Cove on Palos Verdes Drive West and Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes.”

Even secluded as they were, in the southwest corner of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, he knew there was a fire station just five minutes from here. The operator assured him help was on the way. She stayed on the line with him, asking him questions.

He leaned way over the woman to try to see her face. It had caked blood and ugly red marks on it. He momentarily placed the phone on the trash bag he had brought out and moved her head slightly to make sure her nose and mouth weren’t being smothered by plastic. Since she was breathing, the operator told him not to try to lift her out of the Dumpster. That could make any injuries she had worse.

At her suggestion, he took off his apron and laid it on top of the woman to help warm her up. Although the day promised to be summery, it was still cool in the shade. Rigo was getting used to touching her now. He gently felt for a pulse in her neck. It was slow and faint, but it was definitely there.

Approaching sirens told him help was on the way. He felt relief and hope. Relief that someone else would take over the responsibility for her and hope she would be all right.

Professional Reviews
Forget to Remember
Rigo Ramirez is a bright young man with a master's degree in psychology and some excellent computer skills. In order to earn a living, however, he works for minimum wage as a dishwasher in a restaurant near his parents' home [where he resides] in the Palos Verdes Peninsula of CA. In the course of his duties one evening, which duties include taking out the trash, he discovers to his shock the naked body of a young woman in the dumpster outside the restaurant, unsure whether she is alive or dead. Due to Rigo's quick action, she is taken to the hospital and survives the ordeal with nothing more than relatively superficial injuries. However, she finds she has no memory at all, either of the attack or anything prior to that.

One consequence of the girl's amnesia - she decides to call herself `Carol' because she likes the sound of that name - is that she is unable to acquire many of the things one tends to take for granted, such as a social security card [for which she needs a birth certificate, which of course she doesn't have either], a driver's license, a bank account, etc., nor can she fly anywhere because of her lack of I.D. "Officially, as far as the county, and I guess any state and the federal government, are concerned, I'm a non-person." A pretty daunting situation in which to find oneself. As if that weren't enough, she is warned "Somebody wants you dead, which, I suspect, is the reason you were found in a Dumpster. This is beginning to look more like a murder mystery than a search for identity." And so it turns out to be.

With the help of Rigo, his family, and a friend who is a genetic genealogist, the search for her identity begins, through DNA, statistical analysis, computer searches and the like. Along the way "Carol" has some problematical encounters with men she meets, but nothing she can't handle. In a fast-paced tale which is immediately engrossing, the journey itself becomes as interesting as the quest, and the novel is recommended.
--Gloria Feit


Original - and Memorable
While taking the garbage out behind the restaurant where he works while waiting for a job that would utilize his psychology degree, Rigo Ramirez makes a discovery that will change his life. Lying in the dumpster is the body of a young woman, barely alive but still clinging to life. When she does awaken she has no memory of her previous life, and with no identification on her she is sent to a shelter to lead out whatever life she can put together. Not surprisingly, the woman now called "Carol Golden" reaches out to the man who found her, and Rigo takes Carol home to live with his parents as the pair attempt to uncover her identity as well as who was responsible for nearly killing her.

As Carol discovers skills and clues about herself she is first deceived by someone she trusts, then eventually she goes on her own and attempts to follow the trail of another missing woman all the way to the U.K.

At first Carol seems to be rather unbelievably accepting and light-hearted about her lack of identity, but soon the reader discovers layers of her personality that are very complicated, intriguing, and contradictory. Impulsive and at times seemingly without regard to her safety, Carol leaps towards a path to establish a new identity. Rigo proves to be the most engaging and likable character as he supports and aids Carol, even seeking help through DNA identification. Judy Mercer wrote a series that followed a woman who awakens and must forge a life as an amnesiac, but Cook takes a completely original twist on this complication. This is a fast and unique read that throws in numerous twists that lead to a very surprising conclusion.
--Cindy Chow



Reader Reviews for "Forget to Remember: A Carol Golden Novel"


Reviewed by Betty Gelean (Reader) 2/15/2011
A very intriguing and entertaining mystery, the first I've read by this author, though he has written several books. Alan Cook knows how to engage his readers and keep them guessing.

The plot opens with the discovery by a restaurant kitchen worker of a naked bloody body of a female in a dumpster behind the restaurant. There is a slight pulse and she is transported to the hospital. Once she comes back to consciousness, she has amnesia, no memory of either her past or what happened to her. And so the mystery begins.

Rigo, who found the girl, feels a need to become her protector and feels responsible for taking care of her once she is released from the hospital. Because he lives with his parents, they invite her to stay with them, she has nowhere else to go and no identity. In fact, because she has amnesia and no one has reported a girl missing, no ID was found at the scene, she has become a non-person. This is significant because as a non-person she can not become a "person", not a citizen of anywhere, no fingerprints on file, she can not get proof of birth, driver's licence, can not travel anywhere, and literally has no record of ever existing. This particular subject of the plot made me wonder how many people in the world are "non-persons" for whatever reason.

She decides to go by the name of Carol Golden for the time being. Little by little she comes up with a thought that makes her wonder if it's a memory. Playing a game with Rigo she finds herself thinking in binary and realizes she must have been proficient at math. California doesn't feel right as where she lived, she feels more drawn to the east. I was fascinated with this process in the book. I think Alan Cook was very diligent in dealing with this process. I don't think I found any anachronisms overlooked as hidden memories, that is to say I don't think anything was said or thought of out of context.

A few searches for missing people do not turn up any leads, but a friend of Rigo's family has more connections and ideas and locates a possibility in North Carolina. The lawyer for that case sends Carol papers so she can fly out east. However, the missing girl's grandmother says no, this is not Cynthia. A dead end. But she now has a feeling she was recently in England. Especially when she rents a car and finds herself looking for a standard gear shift on her left, and feels she should be driving on the right. Carol is determined to follow her feelings, and follow them she does. With the papers and money the lawyer has supplied her with, she heads to England.

Memories begin to become more cohesive though the mystery deepens as she struggles with the fact that her attack was not a one-time thing and she is still very much in danger. Will she find out the truth of her identity? Will she find her attacker or worse, will he find her? Or is he stalking her even now.

This book has a lot of interesting detail, the unraveling of the mystery of Carol's identity and the final outcome bring the book to a fast-paced, exciting and surprising conclusion. A well plotted story I really enjoyed.

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