Review of “Identity X”, by Michelle Muckley

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“Persona non grata” is a phrase defined as “someone who is not wanted”, in a nutshell.  But what if someone decides to take that “not wanted” stigma a step much further?

Ben Stone becomes the target of such an ambition when, after a discovery of global proportions, he is suddenly, for all intents and purposes, wiped out of existence.  The only thing that remains is the troubling fact that he is still breathing.  Overnight, his lab, his work, his co-workers, and his very identity have all disappeared.  Someone way up in the governmental hierarchy has gotten what he wanted, and is now hell-bent on making sure Ben gets erased.

But what this menace does not foresee is how very resourceful Ben is when it comes to surviving.  Even though he is completely bewildered, with absolutely no idea of what has happened, Ben keeps his wits about him and eludes the bullets that rain down on him at every turn.

All too soon, though, with no one he can trust, and his options running out, Ben has but one choice–to trust the one person he thought he knew better than anyone.  She risks her life to save his, along with the life of their son.  But running like a low-voltage current through all of this is the one question:  What happened to Ben’s discovery?  And what will the people who stole it from him do with it?

To be honest, my only regret is that I didn’t read this book sooner.  Ms. Muckley has a way with words that is in the upper echelons of writing.  Her turns of phrase are so accurate and so descriptive–some of the best I’ve ever read.  For example, at the beginning of the book, Ben is facing his peers, ready to announce his discovery.  This is what Ms. Muckley writes:

H felt the weight of all great men before him who had stood on the same precipice of achievement, isolated in the solitary moment before the world learns what has been accomplished.

The book is rife with descriptions of this caliber.  Her characters are so real that I could almost hear them breathing.  Beautifully crafted, and it has an ending that just cries out for more.  It was a total surprise, and, as they say, “therein lies another story”.

More, please!

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