Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review - Identity Crisis by Jean Hackensmith

 Identity Crisis
Genre: Detective
Author: Jean Hackensmith
Publisher: Inkwater Press
Language: English
Pages: 260

When rumors of how Dan Hamilton actually died reach the Cheyenne Chief of Police, Brian Koski is forced to resign his position as captain of the Sixth Precinct and go into business for himself as a private detective. His partner? A mahogany colored Belgian Malinois named Sinbad. A former NYPD police dog, Sinbad is vicious when need be and reliable to a fault–unless a train goes by or there’s a thunderstorm, then chances are he will turn tail and run.

Brian’s first clients are Jeff and Melody Patten. He’s an explosives expert for a local demolitions company, she’s a stay-at-home Mom. Both are devoted parents to their young daughter, Angela. The problem comes in the form of one Collin Lanaski, an unstable ex-Air Force lieutenant and Angela’s second grade teacher, who suddenly starts insisting that Angela is his daughter—the same daughter who died in a tragic car accident four years earlier.  What does Collin base this incredible revelation on?  Dog tags and car seats.  Brian is convinced the man has suffered a psychotic break.  He’s delusional and dangerous, and it becomes the P.I.’s job to protect Angela from a madman.


Courtney Lanaski is an adorable 3-year old child who believes she is 'Daddy's little angel.'  She finds it very sad that her beloved father, Collin, has to go far away to a war. He is unhappy about leaving her and her mother but he is a soldier and that is what soldiers have to do.  While Collin is overseas, his wife and daughter are killed in a car accident. When Collin comes home to face this horrible tragedy, he questions the validity of his daughter's death. The car seat is all wrong, the child is not found wearing her father's dog tag Collin had given her. This is not possible, she never wanted to take it off. Her mother had said Courtney would become quite upset should she try to remove it from the sweet child for a bath or at bedtime. It was her daddy's and Courtney believed it would protect her. 
Brian Koski is a policeman who is very, very good at his job. He finds one of his superior officers is taking bribes and he does what most cops are not supposed to do to other cops. He blows the whistle. Instead of facing charges, the other officer's misdeeds are swept 'under the carpet' and years later becomes Chief of Police of Brian's force. He hasn't forgotten what Brian did and when the opportunity presents itself, he forces Brian to resign. Although devastated over the loss of his career, Brian is not one to laze about and he decides to become a private investigator.  One of his very first clients is a young mother, Melody,  whose child is being stalked by her grade-school teacher. Brian finds this hard to believe but follows up on the tale.  The teacher is Collin Lanaski and he is convinced little Angela Patten is, in fact, his precious daughter, Courtney.  Angela and her parents find themselves drawn into one of the worst nightmares a parent faces. She has been kidnapped. 
The reader of "Identity Crisis" will face a dilemma as the facts and emotions leave them with plaguing questions - 'Is Lanaski a crazed, grieving father who has kidnapped an innocent child, removing her from her loving parents?' Or 'Is Collin rescuing his beloved daughter from kidnappers who could be terrorizing the young girl?'  I found Identity Crisis to be a solid read. It is well written and I enjoyed the characters who came and went, the tales that offer relief from the intensity of the situation Angela and Brian are in. ~Jo Ellen


I have been writing since the age of twenty.  (That’s 37 years and, yes, I’m disclosing my age.)  I am the proud mother of three, stepmother of two, and grandmother to twelve wonderful children.  I lost the love of my life, my husband Ron, in November of 2011 when he died in an accident at work.  He took my heart with him and, for a time, my desire to write.  Time, as they say, heals all wounds, and I have again discovered my passion for the written word.  In fact, I find it strangely comforting to delve into the intricate webs that are my character’s lives and immerse myself in their existence instead of dwelling on my own. 

Next to writing, my second passion is live theater.  I founded a local community theater group back in 1992 and directed upwards of 40 shows, including three that I authored.  I also appeared on stage a few times, portraying Anna in The King and I and Miss Hannigan in Annie.  I am sad to say that the theater group closed its final curtain in 2008, but those 16 years will always hold some of my fondest memories. 

My husband and I moved from Superior five years ago, seeking the serenity of country living.  We also wanted to get away from the natural air conditioning provided by Lake Superior.  We moved only 50 miles south, but the temperature can vary by 20-30 degrees.  I guess I’m a country girl at heart.  I simply love this area, even though I must now enjoy its beauty alone.  I love the solitude, the picturesque beauty of the sun rising over the water, the strangely calming effect of watching a deer graze outside your kitchen window.  Never again, will I live in the city.  I am an author, after all, and what better place to be inspired than in God’s own back yard. 

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