It's difficult to do justice to this excellent novel in a short review. The first half mixes the action-packed adventure of Con Niemand, former soldier turned mercenary, with the slower, more complex unfolding of the character of 'corporate risk manager' John Anselm and his equally complicated world of conspiracies and double-dealing. The link between their stories doesn't become clear until about halfway through the novel, but this isn't the end of the plot twists; there are plenty of surprises still to come.
The style of Identity Theory (originally published as In The Evil Day) is often spare, even terse; while there are some richly detailed passages to establish character and setting, some chapters consist of nothing more than dialogue between two unidentified speakers. This befits the shadowy world Anselm and Niemand inhabit, where knowing who you're working for may be difficult, dangerous, or hard to reconcile with your conscience... and while trust may be rare and larger loyalties obsolete in that environment of `plausible deniability', where the interests of nations have become secondary to those of political parties and the corporations who finance them, Niemand, Anselm and Wishard do have consciences.
Temple shows his mercenaries, deadly as they may be, as more honorable than the people who employ them in the hope of being able to disavow responsibility. Niemand is first and foremost a survivor, acting on instinct when threatened, but he protects his friends as best he can, is capable of gentleness, and has no tolerance for those who enjoy killing. Anselm is equally efficient, to the point of being workaholic, but he is loyal to his boss and colleagues, able to empathize with those he hunts, and loves his family.
The women in this novel may sometimes seem too good to be true, and their civilizing influence almost miraculous, but they are a necessary part of Temple's world - proof that it is worth living in, and preserving.