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The Identity Man

A book by Andrew Klavan

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The Identity Man Will Alter You Whether or Not You Want It

  • Nov 10, 2010
Rating:
+4
This book reminded me a lot of some of the early episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation. In those specific shows, everything would be different and the audience would have no clue why everything was different until the last 15 minutes of the show. This book is like that because you do not know what is going on until the last 40 pages.

The story has two storylines that intersect later in the book. Two rogue cops are stalking bad guys, and maybe even good guys, in a city that was ravaged by a flood (New Orleans?). Most of the town has roving criminal gangs that do whatever they want. One of the cops kills a guy named Peterson for apparently no reason and then finds graffitti that states he killed Patterson. This makes him seethe with fury and he is anxious to find the person that knows he killed Patterson.

The other story centers around John Shannon, a petty thief. Shannon and another theif burglarize a home, surprising the owner. When the other thief starts attacking the owner, Shannon turns on him, saving the owner and getting the other thief arrested. The thief turns on Shannon and tells the cops that Shannon committed a murder. This causes Shannon to run from the cops who open a statewide man-hunt for him.

On the run Shannon encounters a mysterious man who calls himself the Identity Man. He talks with a heavy accent and tells Shannon he will make Shannon "a new mang."

It is hard to tell the rest of the plot without spoilers but as one can imagine, the Identity Man changes Shannon's appearance and give him a new identity in the city of the rogue cops. Eventually, their paths will converge but in the meantime Shannon has a chance at turning his life around. He has choices to make which will in fact make him a "new mang" or follow his old identity ways. The Identity Man told him that "identity like stain" so probably he will revert to his old ways.

The book is slow in parts and sometimes frustrating because so much goes on that the reader can't fathom as to its reason. If you wait it out you will be glad because everything is eventually explained and the book builds to a very exciting climax.

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More The Identity Man reviews
review by . February 07, 2011
Klavan's fast-paced latest opens with the murder of a whistle blower by a corrupt cop in a flood ravaged, riot-torn city. The narrative then shifts a thousand miles to a petty thief named Shannon working on his latest wood carving and fretting about an upcoming job. If caught he'll be a three-time loser.    Sure enough, things go about as bad as they can, much worse, in fact than Shannon imagined. He's been framed for a horrific murder and every cop in the world, it seems, is …
review by . September 27, 2010
I almost gave up on this book a bit over the half way point, because it didn't appear that there was a coherent plot, and very few things made sense. A criminal on the run is given a new face and new identity papers and is dropped into a ruined city run by a corrupt mayor in conjunction with the police department. Even though this fellow is supposed to have a completely new persona, not too long after he arrives the police are breathing down his neck, and he is once again forced to run.   …
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Ranked #9
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Starred Review. Edgar-winner Klavan's compelling thriller focuses on smalltime criminal John Shannon, who commits petty crimes, usually burglary, out of boredom as much as any need for financial gain. When a job spins out of control and a man gets killed, Shannon goes on the run. After receiving an enigmatic text message, Shannon is captured and taken to a laboratory where he's given a new face, a new name, and a new life, courtesy of the mysterious "identity man." Shannon moves to an unnamed city that resembles New Orleans, where he finds work as a carpenter. In a parallel plot, Lt. Brick Ramsey, a good cop gone bad, finds himself drawn deep into a local political struggle with fatal consequences. How Klavan (Empire of Lies) merges the two plots and saves Shannon may confound some readers, but the inexorable pace and superior quality of the writing lift the story onto a level that feels almost mythic. (Nov.) (c)
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Details

ISBN-10: 0547243286
ISBN-13: 978-0547243283
Author: Andrew Klavan
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
First to Review

"Starts slow, ends fast"
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