Item description for Identity Theory by Peter Temple...
John Anselm is a former Beirut hostage, a foreign correspondent who went to one war too many. A burnt-out-case, he lives in his family's ancestral house in Germany, working for a semi-legal and near-broke surveillance firm and wrestling with his own fractured identity and family history. His intelligence work collides with the lives of Con Niemand, an ex-mercenary and professional survivor, and ambitious London journalist Caroline Wishart. They are caught in a nightmare of violence and intrigue that can only end with the uncovering of long-buried secrets.
Temple writes of a shadowy world peopled with intense, globetrotting characters who use espionage, double crossings, and political information to gain leverage. In Temple's world, secrets can be worth more than human life.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6" Height: 1.5" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2004
ISBN 193156194X ISBN13 9781931561945
Availability 0 units.
More About Peter Temple
PETER TEMPLE is the author of eight crime novels, five of which have won the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction. He lives in Victoria, Australia.
Peter Temple currently resides in Ballarat. Peter Temple was born in 1946.
Reviews - What do customers think about Identity Theory?
Noir in the age of privatisation Apr 21, 2008
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.
I read every word Jan 24, 2008
There are a lot of people trying their hand at writing these techno thrillers where you can track down anyone anywhere in the world by just using a computer, hacking into various systems etc. The few I've read were cheezy.
Peter Temple's Identity Theory reminded me of John Le Carré. Temple's John Anselm and his hackers Inskip and Carla remind me of George Smiley and his trusted agents Guillam, Doc de Salis, and Connie Sachs. Tho Anselm's boss, Baader, was the man who actually knew who was who in the underworld.
Anyway I loved it. I also loved Temple's The Broken Shore and have his Bad Debts ('96), Black Tide ('99), Shooting Star ('99), Dead Point (2000), and White Dog ('03) on interlibrary loan order.
David Honeybone, the editor of Crime Factory magazine who also runs the Crime Writers' Association of Australia, sums up the plot better than I could ever.
"Con Niemand is an ex-mercenary, a South African trained in the art of killing. He earns a living by doing security, running protection for wealthy South Africans who find themselves in a country gripped by lawlessness, still searching for stability post-apartheid. The sole survivor of a job gone wrong, Niemand comes into possession of a video showing American soldiers in an African village, a charnel landscape, where they are calmly dispatching survivors. Survivors of what, though? Niemand hasn't much time to contemplate that question before he's contacted by the tape's owners in London, and with dollar signs in his eyes he boards the next flight out of South Africa to return their property. But such is the importance of this tape that he unwittingly becomes the target of a deadly manhunt.
Switch to Hamburg, Germany, and meet John Anselm, a journalist piecing his life back together after being kidnapped in Beirut. His brain a shattered switchboard of half-memories, courtesy of a rifle butt to the skull from a captor, Anselm controls panic attacks by drinking. He earns a living through a shady but sophisticated electronic-surveillance agency whose clients require information on everything from errant wives to industrial espionage. Unaware of Niemand's situation and that they share dangerous knowledge, Anselm is employed to track the ex-mercenary's movements, until a series of violent events lead their paths to cross, just as the threat of an exhumed American foreign policy secret raises the stakes for all concerned."
Originally "In the Evil Day" - Don't buy both! - Great Australian Mystery Dec 22, 2007
Another outstanding book by this Australian author. I love finding a new-to-me mystery writer - gives me a chance to track down and read all the books. Because the first ones are hard to find in the U.S. it is being a challenge, but I've now got all but one. Meanwhile, this one is easily available and it's just one fine, well written mystery. I'm hard to please, let me tell you - I'm a serious mystery buff and I know and demand excellent writing. Peter Temple is my latest and best find. I strongly recommend him to anyone who appreciates good writing, fine plotting, 3 dimensional characters, and a darned good read.
The Missing Star Goes to the Publisher Aug 1, 2007
I liked Temple's Jack Irish novels and found this one not so colloquial as the Irish stories. I liked the story lines and how they came together but have to admit I liked the mercenary the best. I found way too many misprints, mispellings, missing words, etc., that it distracted my reading. This just doesn't usually happen. Temple needs to find a publisher who can hire a proofreader.
You may have read it before Jul 3, 2007
This is the same book as "In the Evil Day " by Peter Temple, nevertheless it's a brillant book with a Le Carré feeling to it. And when it comes to action scenes he's as good as Lee Child! Well, what about it - Carré/Child in a very complicated but also rewarding thriller. His other books are as good. Pity when they have different titels for differnt countries. Can confuse you, n'est pas?