Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review of Identity Crisis by Jean Hackensmith

Identity Crisis
By Jean Hackensmith

Print: $14.95
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629010755

From the publisher:
Cheyenne Chief of Police, Brian Koski, is forced to resign his position as captain of the Sixth Precinct and goes into business as a private detective. His partner? A mahogany-colored Belgian Malinois named Sinbad. Brian's first clients are Jeff and Melody Patten. He's an explosives expert for a local demolitions company; she's a stay-at-home mom. Both are devoted parents to their young daughter, Angela. The problem comes when Collin Lanaski, an ex-Air Force lieutenant and Angela's second grade teacher insists that Angela is his daughter-the same daughter who died in a tragic car accident four years earlier. What does Collin base this incredible revelation on? Dog tags and car seats. Brian is convinced the man has suffered a psychotic break. He's delusional and dangerous, and it’s Brian’s job to protect Angela from a madman.

·         Print Length: 243 pages
·         Publisher: Inkwater Press (April 29, 2014)

My Review:
Beginning with a prolog in which Collin Lanaski returns to overseas military service and must say good-bye to his family, Identity Crisis is part mystery, part thriller, part crime novel.

This is book 2 of the B.K. Investigations series, and while there were several allusions to the former story, I never felt like I couldn’t keep up with the events of this sequel. Cheyenne WY’s police force apparently has some deep-seated issues if the chief has to resort to murder to get criminals bagged for good. Someone with a conscience finally spilled and Chief Koski, who hadn’t made the right kind of friends on the force, is booted. He takes out a shingle as a PI, but with the new chief making sure no one refers any work his way, things are tough. His first clients are friends of friends, and one scared young mom who’s afraid her daughter’s second-grade teacher has flipped when he started insisting that her daughter Angela was really his own little girl, whose mother was killed while he was overseas. Koski isn’t able to prevent her kidnapping and is the only one still on the case months later, even after his retainer runs out, his other cases start backing up, and no one else believes she’s still alive. No one, that is, but a psychic who insists she sees the little girl.

Out of leads, Koski listens to the psychic, gets his bearings and begins a search for the clues he’s given. As often happens, the exact right circumstances line up and Koski finds Angela and Lanaksy…only things don’t add up.

There was certainly much to like as the events unfolded in this tale. The characters borderline unlikeable, but tough and gritty and determined or as creepily evil as needed. There were a number of issues left hanging, such as Lanasky’s impending divorce before the death of his wife, and a few other things in Koski’s cases and personal life that teetered on the suspension of disbelief line. I still turned pages faster and faster to find out how things were going to come out in the end…though of course, the reader must beware that Identity Crisis is part of a series. Told from Koski’s perspective throughout, Identity Crisis is a contemporary every parent’s nightmare tale that will leave the reader curious about the next installment.

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