The Lost Identity Casualties begins with the stirring of an unidentified man. He is in the hospital, face and hands wrapped in bandages, unable to remember himself and what happened to him. As his recollections return, both of his life, Matthias Callaghan, and the events which have maimed him, we read a man’s cold fury turn to plotting revenge.
It is difficult to review specifics in this book without spoiling anything, but I shall do my best.
This story is fascinating. The pacing is well done. You are brought into the situation as confused as the protagonist and as he recalls, the reader is brought a short history lesson about his life. Back and forth between his current state of affairs to the nitty gritty that brought him to the hospital, you become as curious as Matthias is about what happened and, more importantly why.
When it comes to what Matthias decides to do for his revenge is truly where the story comes into his own. It doesn’t matter if you agree or not with his actions, how he plans to try to take the control he lost back, how the other people involved in the situation act around him and in considering their own goals? Some people might not be as fond of shifting points of views – from Matthias’ 1st person POV to every other characters’ limited 3rd person – but I will implore them to take a crack at this anyway if they are interested in thrillers.
In the preface, Kim Ekemar states how numerous the cast is in the book and even has a cast list at the back of the book. Yet I hardly had issue following the amount of names presented. Each cast member was introduced to the story in a way that I could follow their path, and when I had forgotten a very short while into the next time they were introduced I had recalled their position in the tale in full.
However, their is an inconsistency of comma usage during dialogue. More precisely, that certain times the commas comes after the second quotation mark, instead of before it. This isn’t a consistent error, but I would be willing to say half of the time it is done in this way as opposed to properly. Most of the time this wasn’t distracting, so I wouldn’t take too much off the book’s grade because of it.
A bigger issue is one instance of contrivance which I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for. Its reveal was a dramatic change in the novel and was a tool for how the rest of the story went. However, it didn’t have to be exactly what it was to have still allowed Matthias to go on as he did for the rest of the book. It was there solely to create more drama between Matthias and Julie where there really didn’t need to be.
I also couldn’t wrap my head around why certain scenes were supposedly in characters’ heads as opposed to not. Matthias’ sections are always in first person, in which case it seems odd that some sections are in italics while others are not, because they are all first person. I also didn’t see a point for Julie to have one section of first person (in italics), when she never had another and her bearing on the story became admittedly less and less important. Especially when the information conveyed in that section arose later in a natural way.
Nevertheless, I will eventually pick up the next book in the series.