Identity Crisis
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Identity Crisis (Sam McRae Mystery #1)

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  55 reviews
2nd revised edition
Paperback, 243 pages
Published November 23rd 2009 by Lulu (first published June 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 564)
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3.5 bumped up to 4.

Best categorized as hard-boiled/noir crime fiction, Identity Crisis has a lot to offer fans of the genre.

Sam McRae is a chick dick, you know the female version of Philip Marlowe, with a tough exterior that occasionally cracks enough to reveal a vulnerable interior.

This was well-written and fast paced. The biggest flaw for me involved the plot, which took an unexpected turn--not necessarily a bad thing--but in this case a little too far out of left field and a little bit of a d...more
Jim Thomsen
Debbi Mack's debut novel, "Identity Crisis," has a lot going for it. It's a well-written, briskly paced, plot-packed detective mystery that makes strong but subtle use of its Chesapeake Bay-area settings held my attention for the most part. Overall, it's a few cuts above the majority of self-published fare.

Unfortunately, it's a little too packed with plot -- to the extent that the final act goes off the rails, with way too many scenes in which way too much is explained. I found myself jumping b...more
David Kubicek
Aug 10, 2010 David Kubicek rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery Readers
Identity Crisis follows former public defender Sam (Stephanie Anne) McRae as she works to clear her client of a murder charge which turns out to be anything but simple. The clues lead her into a case involving identity theft, ties to the mob, a fire in a school lab, and revenge.

Sam's practice doesn't make a lot of money. She shares an office building--and a receptionist--with an accountant, her car is an old beater that barely runs, she lives in a small apartment and has trouble paying her bills...more
I received this book from the author with a request for a review. I told her I only posted positive reviews on DorothyL and she was happy with that. I am very pleased to tell you how much I enjoyed this book.
Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae is a small-time lawyer with a small office and an even smaller staff, her landlord’s secretary. She is happy representing common people who need help. A simple domestic abuse victim suddenly turns up missing and is the lead suspect in the murder of her abusive boyf...more
J.T. Cummins
Early in Debbi Mack’s crisp and exciting mystery/thriller Identity Crisis there’s a reference to Dragnet and Joe Friday’s no nonsense manner. The same could be said of Mack’s efficient storytelling, which wastes no time plugging the reader into the life of lawyer Stephanie Ann McRae. By page two of Identity Crisis, Sam (a nickname constructed from her initials) is indoctrinated into what appears to be a simple missing person’s case. Unfortunately, as Sam begins to dig, nothing is as it appears,...more
Benjamin Sobieck
With so many lawyers running extracurricular sleuthing activities already in crime fiction, it's hard to latch onto yet another attorney with seemingly too much time on her hands. This is the feeling I had going into "Identity Crisis," by Debbi Mack (Lulu, 2009).

Fortunately, readers won't suffer through the 254 pages of Mack's mystery. In the protagonist, attorney Stephanie Ann "Sam" McRae, they'll find something both familiar and new. They've probably been down the lawyer-detective path before...more

Just another Chick Dick this case, though, she's an attorney with a Nancy Drew streak....a decent amount of moxie..a married boyfriend....and a temperamental automobile. The story is set in and around Baltimore...old CHARM CITY herself.

This little tale of identity theft and murder-most-foul (with a back story of High School hijinks gone wrong, and the revenge that followed) was a sweet respite from heavier fare. Nothing earth shaking, mind you...but it flowed smoothly, without too much...more
A beautiful mix of Mob action, lawyers, identity thieving and a more than dodgy High School experiment gone wrong.
Debbi Mack's "Identity Crisis" follows the lawyer Sam McRae through the attempts to, at first save her client from an abusive boyfriend, to saving her from one of the North American Mafias. Written by the author whom has some knowledge in both the legal and private investigation field, this makes the book extremely pleasant to read, and efficiently easy to associate yourself with the...more
Glyn Smith-Wild
A slightly different take on a detective novel, the main character not being a police officer, but a lawyer. The story drags the reader in and tends to get a bit over-complicated towards the end. It is doubtful that a lawyer would do the things she did without being in trouble with the police authorities herself, but no matter, it made a thrilling read.
The ending? Well, I still don't know exactly what happened in the end. I had to read the final three chapters again in case I had overlooked some...more
Kimberly Hicks
Mar 16, 2014 Kimberly Hicks rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Bookbub
Shelves: read-on-kindle
This was a pretty good read, but it just wasn't as exciting as I would have liked a legal thriller to be.

For me, Sam McCrae was more of a detective than she was an attorney, and perhaps that's the problem I had with the story because I was looking for more legal-eze, and I just didn't get that much.

Sam's client, Melanie, was being accused of identity theft, and factor in her ex-boyfriend was recently found murdered, all evidence seemed to point in Melanie's direction, or was she being framed, an...more
Darcia Helle
I know this is fiction, but the story still needs to make sense. And, for me, this one stretched plausibility to the breaking point.

I don't like to give spoilers, so I'll keep my complaints in general terms. The main character is supposed to be an educated attorney, yet her behavior is irrational at best and outright ridiculous at worst. She finds clues that involve her own safety, yet doesn't report them. She is right in the middle of a dangerous situation, yet when badly hurt, not one person q...more
I downloaded this for my Kindle for free or 99cents (don't remember, not worth looking up) and wanted to like it . . . I finished the book only because I was on travel (in the area where the book was set) and my flight had been delayed for a couple of hours. As other reviewers have stated there was the possibility of a great plot here, but there were some places where the ball was just dropped by the author . . .


So, why was there a POBox with her name on it and mail to someone e...more
Although these posts aren't blogs as such, new FTC regulations suggest that I ought to disclose the Debbi Mack graciously sent me a review copy of her recently re-published book. I was happy to get it because my "A Mystery for Every State" challenge to myself was inching up on Maryland, and I'd just about read all of Laura Lippman's Baltimore-based series and Barbara Michaels' books, many of which are set in rural Maryland.
Identity Crisis is set primarily in Prince George's County. Since one of...more
Debbi Mack's first novel, Identity Crisis, had me hooked from the first page, and proved to me by last page that she is a mystery author to contend with. She builds a tight and compelling plot in this noir murder tale, while managing to pace the story so nicely that I never once felt bored. And there's a great twist that I just didn't see coming - and I'm usually pretty good at spotting a twist from a mile away.

Of course plot and pacing are important in any mystery, but I'm a reader who loves a...more
A good, quick read. Sam McRae is an attorney doing detective work in this novel. This is the second Sam McRae mystery that I have read. I like the author's style which is fast. Near the end of the book, unnecessary characters and relationships surfaced but did not destroy the fast pace of the book. I worry a little about Sam McRae. Her car is not reliable. Her clients cannot pay for Sam's legal services. The mob 'knows' her. She is all alone in the world. She has not invested in a house, probabl...more
I wasn't sure what genre this really is. The protagonist is an independent lawyer, but seems to act more like a PI than anything else. There wasn't a single court-related action in the whole book. Maybe she's just an attorney because that's what the author is familiar with.

That said, it was a good PI book. I saw the resolution of the stolen identity a mile and a half away, but I think maybe I was supposed to. It makes you think that you've solved the mystery, while all along there are bigger unk...more
K.R. Bankston
I enjoyed this book without doubt. Ms. Mack crafted very believable characters, easily identifiable with for the readers. I loved Walt, the loveable grouch of a neighbor, his crotchety ways reminded me alot of myself.LOL. Sam McRae the lead character, attorney, in the saga was definitely a terrier in her journey to find the truth. There are alot of "what the hell" moments during the story where you can only shake your head at the true nature of people. Once the story was unraveled, the reasoning...more
I felt this book was an average mystery with a touch of suspense. It did not get intense enough to really grab me hard. I think part of that was I did not feel terribly connected to any of the characters.

That said, it was en enjoyable enough book that I will likely read the next book in the series, Least Wanted.

The Kindle edition did not have chapter markers. The chapters flowed together, causing many odd breaks with my usual text setting. Minor complaints though. Otherwise the formatting and te...more
Was able to "borrow" this from and downloaded it to my Kindle for iPhone. Most of the reviews were very good and I'm looking forward to reading it. It'll definitely be a different experience for me not turning physical paper pages.

Finished it fairly quickly. I enjoyed the writing style. The main character is very easy to relate to. The end of the eBook had an excerpt to "Least Wanted" which is a sequel to "Identity Crises" and includes the main character, Sam McRae. I'm going to...more
I downloaded (it's on Kindle!) this book and read it because the author is the sister of an old friend. I am happy to report that I enjoyed it, not just because I wanted to, but because the author does a good job of building realistic characters and puts in some worthy twists in the story line. As another review noted an editorial review could tighten up the occasional awkward phrase but that did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book. I am a huge Laura Lippman fan and if you like Lippman I...more
A soft three. Actually it could have been a script for a Law and Order episode. A fast read though.
Alexander Inglis
I highly recommend Debbi Mack's Identity Crisis concerning a lawyer, Samantha "Sam" McRae who gets mixed up helping a client suspected of stealing from the bank she works for ... that quickly turns into murder. Sam works on her own but finds a couple of sympathetic friends along the way ... and has a couple of mafia encounters she'd rather not repeat. Vulnerable but tough, Sam's sleuthyness gets her into and out of trouble as she pieces together clues that reveal a much bigger story than her cli...more
ebook Despite the title, there seems to be little about identity theft that truly affects the main character, attorney Sam McCabe, who goes to great lengths to prove her client innocent, in one case, breaking into a strip club after hours to check some files to exonerate her. There are several murders, and a Mob connection which doesn't seem well explained--rather convoluted at times. Sam likes to eat at Burger King, and has a hearty appetite. She has an affair with a married man--might better d...more
This book wasn't all bad. I love a good crime mystery book. I just found parts of this one to be VERY predictable. The premise behind the book had potential...a victim in a domestic abuse case & connection to the mob & identity theft. The idea was fantastic, but the writing to my dismay lacked much substance. All in all this was a free book & I am glad I didn't pay for it! It wasn't a complete waste of time thanks to a twist I wasn't expecting, but the characters were pretty cliche.
Scott Collins
I really enjoyed reading this mystery thriller. It was hard to put down and I wound up using the text to speech feature to finish it faster. I got confused with a couple of the characters, but I think that was due to automated voice reading to me. Hard to look down while driving to try and figure out what was just said. I straightened it out though, and finished it up on my lunch break at work. I'd recommend this novel and hope to read more by her in the future.
Judy B. Burford
Great 1st novel, Debbie!

While I was reading it, I enjoyed the characters. I agree another reader's comment, that the identity thief could have been explained a bit better. However, overall it was a good read. I'm already reading Least Wanted and enjoying it a lot. I'm wondering how well the embellishment plot will be worked out after the comments about the identity thief. Still, a great read so far and I think this author will do well.
Dennis K.
Dec 21, 2009 Dennis K. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Paretsky, Evanovich, Grafton fans
Recommended to Dennis by: friend
A fast-paced read with crisp dialogue, Debbi Mack has launched an exciting new female sleuth with Identity Crisis.

Stephanie Ann "Sam" McRae, the protagonist lawyer, bounces from Gibson's Island to Baltimore as she follows dangerous and elusive leads to protect her client in this action-packed novel.

I look forward to the next novel and Sam's next crisis.
I enjoyed this book, but found it to be forgettable. Throughout the story, you will follow lawyer Sam McRae chasing her client, running away from the mob, having an affair with a married man, all the while solving a murder mystery with a private investigator. It was a worthwhile, quick read to read in between other books on my list.
W.s. Gager
This book took me a long time to read but that was only because life got in the way and the book would disappear.However, I was always able to pick it back up and get involved in the main characters problems. U like the main character and wish I had an attorney that went to such lengths to help a client.
I downloaded this as a free or 99 cents book from B&N on my nook. I was intrigued by the Baltimore/Laurel setting, but the setting isn't enough to make this a book to recommend. It was a quick read, slightly entertaining, but obviously a first effort by the author b/c the mystery seemed a bit contrived.
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Debbi Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sam McRae Mystery Series. In addition, she's a Derringer-nominated short story writer, whose work has been published in various anthologies. Debbi writes book reviews for Mystery Scene Magazine. She also writes screenplays and is interested in filmmaking.

Debbi enjoys reading, movies, travel, baseball, walking and cats--not necessarily in t...more
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