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The Identity Man

A book by Andrew Klavan

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Second chances

  • Feb 7, 2011
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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 looking for him. Then he gets a strange phone call offering help and dares to hope it might be payback for the woman he saved during the botched robbery.

His mysterious benefactor gives him a new identity and a new home in that failing city where the corrupt cop, Ramsey, is still trying to keep a lid on political secrets that would bring down his benefactor.

Shannon hopes for a new life but he's haunted by his benefactor's prediction that his old self will emerge "like stain in flesh." He finds a job and then a woman he loves like no other before. And just when it looks like he's succeeded - it all falls apart, inexplicably, bafflingly, violently - endangering those he loves.

Klavan interweaves his themes of identity and redemption with thriller pacing and enough twists to keep the pages turning. Fans will not be disappointed.

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More The Identity Man reviews
review by . November 10, 2010
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 …
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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Lynn Harnett ()
Ranked #183
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … 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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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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