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Identity Theory Paperback – 9 May 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing; Reprint edition (9 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159692182X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596921825
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.3 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,749,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Born in South Africa, Peter Temple is one of AustraliaÂ’s most acclaimed writers, and has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, and teacher. He is the author of seven novels, three of which have been granted the Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction. Identity Theory is the authorÂ’s American debut. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Identity Theory" is the title given by an American publisher to Peter Temple's novel published in the UK as "In the Evil Day". If you have read "In the Evil Day" you will know that it is an excellent dark thriller, written with Temple's usual verve and pace; but don't then waste your money, as I did, on "Identity Theory".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A real con. I had already read this book under a different title.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i would not choose a book as a gift that I had not read myself and given 5 stars to.....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (4.5) Be careful what you ask for... 7 Nov. 2004
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to find a book so engrossing that I wouldn't want it to end and I certainly found it in Identity Theory. Dark Continents, Special Forces and spy networks in the age of electronic communication... all conspire to reveal death squads and mass murder in the name of peace and freedom. This is no plot for conspiracy theory junkies, but a believable network of things that go bump in the night, disgorging certain facts that are worth killing to hide. Anything to avoid international embarrassment.

There is a video tape, the recording of a village massacre, in the hands of one man, a South African mercenary. When he tries to sell that tape, alarms go off around the world, particularly London, Germany and the United States. All this is past history, long considered safely buried and it is unacceptable that such images should reach a live audience. To this end, factions move to block that one South African mercenary, who gets lucky once too often.

A newspaper woman in London wants to buy the tape; frustrated in her attempts, she doggedly pursues any leads. A purveyor of information supplies relevant data to clients, no questions asked as long as the client pays well. Until the long-forgotten past emerges and the pieces become too obvious to ignore. And the mercenary dodges and feints, avoiding discovery, but aware that the odds are against him. This is a world where collateral damage is as acceptable as income tax; a certain number of losses are expected and pass mostly unnoticed. When that delicate balance is disturbed and information leaks out, disparate forces unite to stifle those asking dangerous questions.

This novel is a disturbing read, but it is not a book to be easily put aside. Temple builds the tension and ratchets up the action to the page-turning end, an excellent, well-written thriller that evokes malevolent shadows of intrigue and special ops. We all know these forces are at work out there somewhere. We just don't know the details or suspect the urgency of certain information. Temple reminds us that the surface has cracked; categorical denial by any government is imminent. Luan Gianes/2004.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Award-winning Australian should be better known here 3 Nov. 2004
By Lynn Harnett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Although Australian author Temple has won his country's Ned Kelly crime fiction award three times, this is his American debut. And a fine one it is, delivering a complex plot of spies, information dealing and murder.

Protagonist John Anselm, an American, lives alone in his ancestral home in Hamburg, Germany, and works as an information dealer for a struggling firm, finding people, things and secrets. The owner is an old friend, with plenty of his own shady secrets. Anselm used to be a roving foreign correspondent until he was taken hostage in Beirut. His captive experience has left him haunted by fears and demons, his memory fragmented.

In the prologue we meet mercenary Con Nieman, whose security job ends in a bloodbath, leaving him in possession of a tape showing American soldiers massacring an African village. What this means and why its recovery is important enough for "collateral damage" not to be a problem, weaves together a story of ambition, avarice, political evil and expedience, and even love. Temple's characters are complex and intelligent, his writing is spare and eloquent and the tight plot is exotic and suspenseful. Readers will be looking forward to finding more Temple novels in local bookstores.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Story that stays with you between reads 15 Feb. 2005
By M.C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my first book for Temple, and I am extremely impressed. The writing is direct, simple, but very effective. The story switches back and forth from three main prospectives with enough variation to keep the reader entertained through the multiple views. Full of action, suspense, and very intelligent. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a good thriller, or even a good read for that matter.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir in the age of privatisation 21 April 2008
By Stephen Dedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant New Crime/Espionage Writer from Australia 28 Mar. 2007
By Stephen T. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fans of Alan Furst, early John LeCarre, Graham Greene, Mankell, Raymond Chandler - rejoice. A new Australian writer, the equal of the greatest, finally makes it to the US with this book - but he has a series of PI type fiction (his detective is "Jack Irish") that are absolutely first rate in all the ways that count - dense, wonderful plots, mature adult characters, complex believable emotions, beautiful way with language - frankly I think that though Temple writes in the spy/PI genre, this is really "literature", running circles around most of what passes for Art these days in modern fiction. He has a spare, Hemingway-esque way of setting mood, character, place and will periodically throw a word into a sentence that sparkles like a diamond with its beauty and aptness. This is superb stuff.
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