Last Updated -
The Guise of Another is the second book by the author Allen Eskens. The first book, the author’s debut novel was The Life We Bury, and it featured college student Joe Talbert, and to a very small degree, my favorite character by Allen Eskens, Max Rupert.
In this book, the main character is Max’s brother, Alex Rupert, who is also a detective with the Minneapolis Police Department, just like Max.
Alex’s reputation has been lost and he is painstakingly trying to get it back. He comes across an identity theft case which he hopes will make him the respected cop he once was in the eyes of his peers.
When the investigation makes the life of Alex a living hell, which is just the opposite of what he wanted to achieve, his brother Max comes to rescue in trying to save Alex’s life.
The story starts with the death of James Putnam who was driving his Porsche. Before his death, he manages to say “Find it, before they find her.” When the investigation into this case proceeds, it is revealed that the accident was something else entirely, and Putnam might not be Putnam afterall, but an impostor. So where is the real Putnam?
Alex Rupert is tasked to investigate this case. He has been demoted from Narcotics to Fraud. He is also in the process of waiting for a federal investigation into his alleged stealing money and basically being a bent cop, something that weighs down on him, although he always tries to put on a happy and strong face, claiming his innocence.
Alex knows that this case could mean him being reinstated and find some redemption, so he gives his all to the case. He manages to connect it to an old blackmail case about a corporate yacht explosion.
Alex needs to solve this false Putnam case linked to the older one before the Grand Jury trial starts. He is becoming obsessed with both the case and the investigation into his own past in a way that makes his brother, Max, worried about Alex.
Max has always been the quieter cop, a virtuous guy living in the shadows of his older brother who seems to have a few skeletons in his closet and a dark past. Max doesn’t believe Alex is guilty, but some things just don’t seem to add up. While the story is a hardcore crime mystery novel, there is a lot of personal relationship development between the two brothers, something that has not been much developed in the author’s debut novel.
The book is quite dark (maybe darker than the previous story), and it is quite complex in nature. The author has a nice writing style that is flowing on the pages and I haven’t found any major grammatical errors to ruin my reading fun.
I have to admit, though, that I still enjoyed The Life We Bury a bit more. It was one of my best reads of 2017 (yes, I know the book was published in 2014, but I’ve only started reading the Allen Eskens books this year). In the meantime I have read all four published books, so the next reviews will follow soon. While the books all link loosely to each other, they are actually standalone novels, not part of a set series.
The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens
Published by Seventh Street Books
Genres: Crime Mystery
Also by this author: The Life We Bury