The Identity Man by Andrew Klavan

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An Otto Penzler Book

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 Shannon an incredible chance to start again: a new face, a new home, a new beginning.

Soon, to his amazement, Shannon finds himself living a life he never dreamed possible. In a ruined city that is trying to rebuild, he finds work as a carpenter and a wood carver. He meets the beautiful Teresa Grey and for the first time falls in love with the sort of woman who could make him a better man.

It seems too good to be true—and it is. Just as Shannon feels within sight of redemption, all hell breaks loose. It turns out this ruined city is crawling with corruption. There are crooked politicians, gangsters, dirty cops everywhere—and, for some reason he doesn’t understand, all of them seem to want Shannon dead.

John Shannon has run out of second chances, and now he’s running out of time. Moving through the darkness in the burnt-out shambles of a dirty town, he’s got to ferret out the secret of his new life—and fast—if he wants to be left with any life at all.


About Andrew Klavan

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Andrew Klavan was hailed by Stephen King as "the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich." He is the recipient of two Edgar Awards and the author of such bestsellers as True Crime and Don't Say a Word.
Published November 11, 2010 by Mariner Books. 293 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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John Shannon is a petty crook on the run from a possible death sentence. Then he's rescued by an anonymous benefactor and transported to a new life in a nameless city, one coping with the Katrina-like aftereffects of flood and fire, lawlessness and corruption.

Oct 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Identity Man

Publishers Weekly

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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 spin

Sep 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Identity Man

The Washington Times

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In his most recent works of fiction, novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan has infused the characters within his complex, well-plotted thrillers with a sense of what it means to be a moral agent: a man or woman who daily faces myriad choices for good or for ill.

Nov 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Identity Man

Book Reporter

Shannon quickly finds work as a carpenter, and by circumstance is doing extra work for a family whose pride in self-reliance has placed them on the road to faster recovery and in better circumstances than their less-industrious neighbors.

Nov 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Identity Man

Klavan does eventually circle back to his overall theme of "identity like stain"—and we discover what it means for Ramsey and Shannon.

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Identity Man

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