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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Identity Thief by JP Bloch

Identity Thief
by J.P. Bloch
Genre: Mystery/Crime Fiction
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Cover Designer: Al Pranke, Amp13
Release Date: September 23, 2014

Out of work, down on your luck, desperate for cash. What if you could get rich with a few strokes of the keyboard? All you have to do is become someone else.

But nothing’s that simple in this fast-paced, psychological thriller. While the thief builds a new life, his victim’s world begins to unravel. As the story dangerously snowballs downhill, the characters discover how losing themselves can lead to duplicity, blackmail, and sometimes murder.

JP Bloch’s darkly comic, edgy exploration of the mystery of the self will keep you guessing until the last word. You’ll come away agreeing with the narrator that “the biggest mistake you can make is thinking you know who you are.”

Advance Reviews:
"JP Bloch’s Identity Thief careens through a spiraling labyrinth of stolen identities reminding one of Churchill’s riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. After his identity is stolen, Dr. Jesse Falcon goes from the frying pan, into the fire, into the endless quicksand of identity theft, until you just want to ask, as they did on the old TV show, ‘Will the real Jesse Falcon please stand up?’ But like Bloch says, the real identity thief is life itself. Identity Thief is an audacious and cleverly plotted, intriguing mystery that opens up new layers of deceit at every turn, like an endless trove of Russian nesting boxes, with one surprising twist after another. Definitely looking forward to his next."
                      Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning author of White Heat
"This is a fun ride. Despite featuring deeply troubled characters, Bloch treats them with a sense of humor that softens some edges but dangerously sharpens others. There are times when you'll chuckle at a name or a seeming coincidence, then be blindsided with an unexpected—sometimes unsettling—turn. As the main players lose and find identities, you'll be pulled into their fragmenting worlds where truth is temporary and few are whom they seem—to others or to themselves."
                Frank Tavares, author of The Man Who Built Boxes and other stories

4 out 5 stars Review Copy

Who thought stealing someone’s identity could turn your own messy life even messier than your own life?  Even worse when fate manages to come full circle colliding the real and fake person.
The fake appears to be a normal guy, married with a cheating and a young son leading the typical life until he finds himself out of his computer job.  In debt with a mortgage as they live like most people living paycheck to paycheck while the wife keeps spending more money.

Out of a job for a while, his wife asks for a divorce as she moves in with his best friend Biff who comes from a privilege lifestyle.  Betsey admits that she has always been sleeping with Biff even minutes before their wedding and that their son Scotty is really Biff.

He goes one day to confront Biff especially after he hears that he been sexually molesting his son Scott,  Before he confronts him, he and his son ends up killing him accidentally.   As they clean up the body, he takes him to his mom for safe keeping.

He manages to steal money from a Dr. Jesse Falcon a psychiatrist at first $20,000 to cover his mortgage on the house that his wife is living in.  When he tries to cash the certified check at the bank, he ends up in the middle of a bank robbery where he managed to take several bullets and survives.
He ends up after being released meeting up with a woman who he saw at the robbery.  She lets him move in temporary and they fall in love.  He then steals more money to set up an online site as help line and makes money from it.

Meantime the real Dr. Jesse Falcon life is a mess as he compulsively have sex with his female clients and others except with his wife.  He has a college daughter whom he adores and dotes on.  He has one female client who is obsessed with him and she becomes pregnant with his child as he tries not to have anything to do with her.  She later tries to commit suicide but survives and gives birth premature to their child.

Slowly their world begin to clash, when the real Dr. Falcon gets hire by the fake ex-wife Betsey to find the missing boyfriend Biff and he realizes who stole his identity.  Things quickly go out of hand for the both of them when all comes tumbling down.

A mystery that you think you know the answers but all is not what it seems as each gets their own ending.  How one lie can slowly snowball quickly,

JP Bloch has a PhD but hopes people won’t hold it against him. He has lived all over the country, and so far the feds have not busted him. He finally settled in Connecticut, where he is an indentured servant to his dog. JP writes on his king-size bed with the fan on. His hobbies include eating cashews while watching TV and overdosing on film noir favorites.

Doc Bloch, as he affectionately calls himself, teaches criminology, gender, and other things. He has appeared on TV and radio numerous times. Having grown up in different households, he became interested at a young age in the fragility of self-identity. On his own since age 15, he also developed a lifelong interest in finding food and shelter. Thus he hopes you will buy this book. He has discarded many identities himself over the years before sticking with chocolate mint chip. JP is also a victim of identity theft, which is ironic since he has no money.

He enjoys people who have gained wisdom from hardship and ask questions more than they assume answers. His turn-offs include Brussels sprouts, bigotry, and people who think life is simple.

Besides novels, he writes poetry, nonfiction and scholarly articles. JP’s paintings have been hailed as naïve folk art. Tumultuous skies are preferred over sunny ones.

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