Title: Hidden Identity
Author: Adam Carpenter
Publisher: MLR Press
Pages/Word Count: 188 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: When Jimmy McSwain is hired to find missing heir Harris Rothschild, he finds that identities can be altered and lives can be changed–or taken with the simple pull of the trigger. Jimmy McSwain is a New York City private detective, operating out of Hell’s Kitchen, the rough and tumble neighborhood he grew up in. At age fourteen, he watched as his NYPD father was gunned down. Now, at age twenty-eight, gay, Jimmy has never given up pursuit of whoever killed him. But a PI must make a living, and so he’s taken on the case of missing heir Harris Rothschild, whose overbearing father doesn’t approve of his “alternate” lifestyle. Tracking down Harris is easier than expected, but the carnage that follows isn’t. With a shocking murder on his hands, and a threat coming from some unforeseen person, Jimmy’s caseload is suddenly full, and very dangerous.
Review: I haven’t read this author before. After reading the blurb I was really excited to read this one. I really can’t pass up a private investigator story, ever.
I really loved the style in which the author chose to tell this story. The memory about his father’s death was told in third person by the main character. It was very well executed and gives the readers a little background of what drives the main character to do what he does. The rest of the story is told from Jimmy’s POV; he’s definitely never gotten over the loss of his father.
The pacing of this story flows very easy, never a dull moment. We follow Jimmy as he wraps up one investigation and begins a new one. I loved how the author makes you think you know what’s going on, but you really don’t. Cleverly done. As to not give many spoilers away, this new case is pretty cut and dry, but some incidents occur that made me scratch my head and wonder what the hell was going on and who was behind it all. A few times I thought I had it all figured out and knew who the bad guy was, but something always happened that threw my theory right out the window. I love how the author keeps the reader in the dark until the very end.
As for the romance, yes, there is a love interest, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. I was okay with that. Being inside Jimmy’s head we know his first love is his job. He’s not quite over a past relationship, he’s just not ready to give a hundred percent. We see a good candidate for a boyfriend come and go during the course of the book. We also see a new potential lover come into play, but again, we don’t see any development between them. I’m fine with that but other readers who want that HEA, or even a HFN, will be disappointed. It just didn’t happen here.
The secondary characters were a big part of this story and a big part of Jimmy’s life, from his sisters and mother, to his father’s old friends, to the new people he encounters while working his cases. I felt each and every one of these characters play a significant role in Jimmy’s life and well being. They definitely added spark and intrigue to the storyline.
Overall, I really liked this story. I enjoyed getting to know Jimmy as well as some of the other characters here. I’m hoping the author plans on more Jimmy McSwain books. I would love to revisit Jimmy and follow along with the investigations and, hopefully, see him find his HEA.
You can buy Hidden Identity here: