Pascal Marco, an obvious fan of the national pastime, has stepped up to the plate and hit his book out of the park. In this, his first novel, he has taken on the task of telling a complicated story covering two locales (Chicago 35 years ago and Phoenix today) and bringing them both to life. The basis of his story is founded on a true crime from the 1970′s. Being from Chicago myself and having intimate knowledge of both sides of the law and many of the figures involved in his story I can safely say that he has fully caught the feel of 1975 Chicago. The corruption that permeated both the political and judicial systems is depicted beautifully by Marco. His grasp of the city’s dynamic is presented in one riveting scene after the other. When the story moves to the Phoenix area he is just as faithful and artful in presenting our valley as it is.
Rather than go into the details of the plot (which is a thrilling and powerful tale that held me until its melodramatic finish) I would instead like to speak to what Marco has achieved as a first time novelist. As a voracious reader and reviewer I go through way too many books each year. Few, especially first time novelists, are as accomplished as Pascal Marco and “Identity:Lost”. Not only is the writing assured and the “voice” consistent, but Marco’s main character, an African-American, is extremely well drawn and fully realized. His doubts, fears, and conscience-driven decisions are portrayed in a compelling and believable manner.
This novel has met a lot of success, being praised by Brad Thor and Douglas Preston, and deservedly so. For those who may have missed Pascal Marco’s rookie book, now is a perfect time to read it. His book has a wonderful baseball “hook” and with spring training here what could be more apropos.
The Phoenix area is blossoming into a center for crime fiction. We at the Poison Pen Blog are all about supporting local writers who portray our valley so well. Pascal Marco is a fine addition to the local crime writing scene and I look forward to his next effort.
STEVE SHADOW SCHWARTZ
For further reading featuring local luminaries try:
“Driven” by James Sallis
“When it all comes Down to Dust” by Barry Graham