The Identity Man
John Shannon is a petty thief on the run. A three-time loser framed for a murder he didn t commit, he knows the cops are closing in on him and that he s facing life in prison or death by lethal injection. Then, as if out of nowhere, a bizarre text message draws him to a meeting in the dark of night. A foreigner who calls himself the Identity Man offers ...more
This is a fairly well written book. It revolves around a couple of stories that intersect. The book opens with (and these aren't spoilers as you can get a ...more
One thing to bear in mind about Andrew Klavan is that he's really two people at once. There's the adrenalin junkie who loves violence and writes the meanest, tightest thrillers this side of James "LA Confidential" Ellroy, and the best gunfights this side of Stephen "Dirty White Boys" Hunter.
Then there's the really annoying Andrew Klava ...more
Unspoken rules guide so much of life, and one such guideline is that polite people don't discuss politics or religion. Now, while I might disagree with that rule when it comes to dinner parties (where so much of the conversation is deadly dull), I have to admit that it generally holds true in narrative fiction. Most authors lack the panache or subtlety to address either subject without turning their stories into screeds. So when both show up in the ...more
A nationwide manhunt is underway for John Shannon, a petty criminal framed for murder. But he's convinced he won't get caught. He's hiding in the ruins of a city destroyed by a terrible flood, and, thanks to a mysterious foreigner calling himself the Identity Man, he has a new face, new papers, and a new life. But the city is crawling with corruption. Crooked politicians, gangsters and dirty cops are everywhere, and for some reason Shannon doesn't understand, all of them want him dead. John Shan...more
This book started a little slow, but when it built up the characters and you got into the head of Ramsey, oh boy. It became awesome. The protagonist is a tad vanilla, which is a plot device for him to "absorb" a new identity through culture (I won't give too much away) but he is largely believable as a male character.
I don't think Klavan writes women well. They're not nearly as ...more
What is different and compelling about Klaven’s approach to this subject matter is ...more
I love dialogue. If you've read a lot of my reviews, you've probably caught that somewhere. The first line of dialogue here isn't until you've read eight percent of this book. That's a long way for narrative to have the entire spotlight. I'm glad I didn't know that going in. Even after, dialogue isn't heavy in The Identity Man. There's a lot of inner monologue here, but strangely, it work ...more
His new life, while pleasant in the beginning, unfolds into a ...more
Characters who wrestle with fundamental problems are so much easier to accept than superheroes like, say, Jack Reacher. In this case the main character, Shannon, is a basically good if unwise guy on the wrong side of the law who has bee ...more
John Shannon is a petty crook, a lockman with a love for wood carving. He sees figures and faces in the wood and has to free them. After a routine break-in goes sour, he finds himself on the run, blamed for a home ...more
Normally, I really like Andrew Klavan. But The Identity Man was just weak and far-fetched. In addition, it needed some serious editing. I generally am not too critical of editing issues, especially in fiction, as long as the story flows along fairly well. However, I will make my point through the use of an example:
"The last movie Shannon watched in the white room - the last DVD in the tomato can carton - was kind of stupid but kind of good, too. If anyone had been around while he was watc ...more
Shannon was an engaging and genuinely likeable character despite his many faults. I was often disgusted by eve ...more
Once you get past the beginning the book gets a lot more interesting. There's still some factual errors but nothing really aggravating. The main character is a likable career criminal, B&E mostly, who gets a second chance at life when things seem darkest--or does he?
The plot moves along quickly enough in this short novel to keep you in ...more
Regarding this book in particular - none of the characters were particularly interesting, the plot was hokey, and the prose was turgid. That's right, Klavan, I called your prose turgid.
my full book review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/identity-man/
A fast and good read for almost anyone.