A Woman Like Me
Francine Rodriguez, author
August 26, 2019 Dear Reader/Reviewer: I am writing to you, to introduce my novel, A Woman Like Me, a 157,000 word, gritty and dark “warrior’s journey,” crime thriller. This novel is inspired by the life of a female police officer who is currently on death row for several murders. This is the story of a one-of-a-kind, disconcerting protagonist, a transgender, and biracial woman, who is isolated, lonely, and emotionally troubled, a stranger in her own body. She is the character that you will peep between your fingers to see when she does something shocking. You won’t look away because you want to know where this will end. Her crimes of violence are initially life-preserving, and later become opportunistic as she fights the obstacles that fuel her fear of returning to childhood misery. Her story begins with her imprisonment in the Philippines at a young age for murder, believing she will not survive. She is noticed by the prison warden and selected to fight in the Muay Thai underground prison circuit, where corrupt officials conduct rigged fights and gambling. When a promised journey outside of the Philippines allows her to leave the prison with her warden, she escapes to Bangkok, transitions sexes, and lives, and works in the district infamous for the tourist sex trade. Seeking to find her father, an ex-serviceman, she comes to the United States. Here overcoming countless obstacles, she becomes a police officer. Her new identity leaves her living in turmoil, struggling to find her place in a field ruled by toxic masculinity, corruption, and cruelty. She attempts to exact justice for victims of the system. This novel differs from other suspense novels that spotlight daring female anti-hero’s, such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, whose protagonist’s emotional syndrome blocks out much of the subtle realities, and insecurities that others are forced to face in life, so she can freely and without pondering, exact revenge where she determines it is needed. Genie, our protagonist, lives her life in turmoil, struggling to find where she belongs, first as a male, and then as a female, even after the operation that makes her into a woman. Now her new identity brings her face to face with the toxic masculinity faced by all women, that she is forced to accept as a female living and working in a male-dominated environment. Much of my story comes from first-hand observation, and the stories told to me by former clients while I worked in the fields of law and psychology for thirty-five years. Common police misconduct depicted in this novel comes from independent police department investigations which I researched.