Book Review: The Identity Thief

“The Identity Thief” was an overall enjoyable read.It started off as I expected: following the Identity Thief as he was finishing up a “job” and moving on to the next one. However, this next job goes south and the Thief (referred to only as “X”) suddenly finds himself caught in a Federal net.

It’s at this point that the story takes a turn and separates itself from preconceived expectations.

It turns out that he stole the identity of a recently killed terrorist and is now being coerced by the Feds into impersonating him for the purposes of infiltrating a particular cell and stealing their funds.

In one sense I was disappointed that it wasn’t a story about X swapping identities in an effort to stay one step ahead of the Feds (like what the cover art suggested) but I was also pleasantly surprised at the unique plot which elevated the story above the standard fare.

What I most appreciated was that X relied on his wits rather than brawn. Being a huge fan of MacGyver (reference in the story, nice!), I enjoy characters who think fast on their feet to get out of trouble. X did that, and did it well.My one criticism had to do with the fact that the main character, as I said before, was introduced only as “X” and remained that way for the entire story. As a result, he was a distant main character and I wasn’t able to connect with him as personally as I would have liked. It was fine to refer to him as “X” when the story first started because he is mysterious and faceless, but once he is on his infiltration mission – to not even give him a name – did not allow me to invest in him very much. I found that I connected the most with the Female FBI Agent who is assigned to watch over him, because she is fleshed out and relatable, but she isn’t around for the entire mission.

Still, that didn’t detract too much from a well-paced and well-written story.

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