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The Wrong Man
by Sara Beck

Authorhouse (August 2001) - Softcover, 152 pages.


About the Book

The Wrong Man is a transgender mystery set in San Francisco. The main story line follows three women who are successfully living and working as men. Flashbacks to specific early-life experiences serve to illustrate how and why a successful "straight" woman could choose to try to completely submerge her female identity in order to totally immerse herself in the male world.

Through no fault of their own, the women become pawns in the criminal activities of a major international smuggling ring that is financing terrorism in the United States and doesn’t hesitate at murder. The ring is led by a mysterious figure, the charismatic "Mr. M." In order to stay alive, the women try to beat the terrorists at their own game.

A veteran New York cop (male), currently on loan to the San Francisco Police Department, and a young Interpol agent (female) are hot on the trail of the terrorists, and, after awhile, each other as well.

The book ends with one of the women dead and the two others running for their lives. The terrorist plot is foiled, but Mr. M. is alive, well, and still totally unknown to the police. The tremendous attraction between the old cop and the young Interpol agent has gradually deepened into tenderness, affection, and what very well may turn out to be love.

About the Author

The characters in The Wrong Man all lead double lives, a concept that appeals to its author, Sara Beck, who at any given time leads at least three. One of those lives began at age fifteen, on the professional stage. After having spent twenty years as an actress, thinking about the characters she portrayed, their feelings, their behaviors, their needs and desires, she began to want to confront, intellectually, all the "big issues" of life and death.

So she went back to school, spending five years at the University of Minnesota studying Philosophy and Psychology, culminating in her graduation with a degree in Philosophy; Phi Beta Kappa, Summa cum laude.

Currently, she is the Vice President and Executive Editor of a small consulting firm, Ocean~Rock Advisors, whose main client is the City and County of San Francisco. She returns to the stage periodically, and continues to write. "Acting and writing are two sides of the same coin," she says, "and philosophy – the art and science of critical thinking – informs them both.

Free Preview

Nothing really feels like it did before. You can’t just do things. Or maybe I do the wrong things. No one else really likes what I like. I gotta be so careful. Not to use big words. No one likes you to be too good at stuff. I gotta laugh at dumb jokes and shut up when they make jokes about big boobs and things. Nothing is plain. Just a thing. You always gotta translate. I don’t know what they mean by female intuition. I can’t figure out what anybody likes, not even the teachers. They’re mad if you don’t turn stuff in, but they don’t call on you when you raise your hand. You gotta think so hard about everything. You can’t just breathe. It hurts to just breathe. They squeeze you, press in on you, no air. Things hurt me. Oh-h-h--- Mommy! Can’t you tell me how to get some air? You act like you know everything. Why can’t I breathe? Why can’t you give me a hug? I’ll be able to breathe if you give me a hug; I could rest awhile on your lap, you could do the big breaths and I could just--

Dad. Daddy. I see you lying flat on the couch. But I can’t see you breathe. Your lips are so gray. I’m scared. If you open your eyes I know they’ll look weird, scary. They don’t have any pupils any more. Just little tiny black points, like someone stuck pins in them and the black stuff all leaked away, just big blue pools, all blue, cold like the lake in winter, and the smell. What is that funny smell? It smells like a hospital, like when we visited grandpa after the stroke. I don’t like it here. I’m cold. I feel sick. My chest hurts. I can’t breathe--

"What is that she said?" Gloria Washington, the emergency room nurse asked resident Dr. Joe Becker, who had bent close to hear the whispered words of the patient on the table.

"She’s having a lot of trouble breathing," answered Joe. He put his hand gently on the head of the woman fighting for her life, and said softly, soothing,

"Don’t worry. You’re doing just fine. You’re going to be okay. We’re here to help you."

Sylvia tries hard to open her eyes, but she is afraid. Something tells her it would be better not to see what is out there too soon, not to know too much, not to talk without being able to think first. It is enough to know that wherever she is, she is not alone. Someone will help her, as long as she keeps quiet.

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 03 July, 2006.
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