ASSUMED IDENTITY by David Morrell

ASSUMED IDENTITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Another bloated action-thriller from Morrell (The Covenant of the Flame, 1991, etc.), who once wrote lean and mean but now enfolds his still-clever ideas in overblown, often bombastic plots. Here, he takes a nifty notion--a top-secret agent losing his own identity amidst his many false personae--and goes nearly nowhere with it, fast. During the past eight years, Brendan Buchanan has been scores of men, playing each with the skill of a de Niro. His newest role is that of Ed Potter, renegade ex-DEA agent; his goal, to take down a pair of vile twin Mexican drug-dealers. But while meeting the twins in Canc£n, Buchanan/Potter is spotted by Bob Bailey, an oil worker who knew him as ``Jim Crawford'' when the two were held hostage by Iraqi forces. Bailey's approach forces Buchanan to kill the dealers, leading to the spy's arrest, torture, and a head wound that exacerbates his growing confusion about his many roles. Bribed out of jail, Buchanan flees to the US only to be targeted for blackmail by Bailey, working with a sexy reporter; moreover, Buchanan is warned by his superiors that this time he'll get no new i.d.: He's out of the field. But after Bailey is killed by Buchanan's superiors, the agent is back in action when he gets a postcard from an old partner asking for help. Linking up with--and bedding--the reporter, Buchanan follows a twisty trail that leads him to the Mexican jungle, a billionaire's bloody oil conspiracy, and a fatal re-creation of an ancient Mayan gladiatorial game. Meanwhile, the insubordinate agent's superiors have marked him for death.... Morrell squanders his ace--his spy's acting skills (compare Jack Higgins's similar but more cleverly played premise in Eye of the Storm, 1992)--and too often substitutes noisy action for suspense. But the vile villains, gorgeous women, and manly doings, however silly, may still mollify the author's many fans. (First printing of 100,000)

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1993
ISBN: 0-446-51669-4
Page count: 464pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993




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