Reviewed for Review the Book
Published by AuthorHouse
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 license, 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.