The Guise of Another

The Guise of Another

4.7 6
by Allen Eskens

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Who was James Putnam? Answering that question may mean salvation for Alexander Rupert, a Minnesota detective whose life is in a serious downward spiral. A Medal of Valor winner, Alexander is now under subpoena by a grand jury on suspicion of corruption. He’s been reassigned to the Frauds Unit, where he is shunned by his fellow detectives, and he fears his status


Who was James Putnam? Answering that question may mean salvation for Alexander Rupert, a Minnesota detective whose life is in a serious downward spiral. A Medal of Valor winner, Alexander is now under subpoena by a grand jury on suspicion of corruption. He’s been reassigned to the Frauds Unit, where he is shunned by his fellow detectives, and he fears his status-seeking wife may be having an affair. When he happens across a complex case of identity theft, Alexander sees an opportunity to rehabilitate his tattered reputation.

But the case explodes into far more than he could have expected, putting him in the path of trained assassin Drago Basta, a veteran of the Balkan wars who has been searching for “James Putnam” for years. As his life spins out of control, Alexander’s last hope may be his older brother, Max, a fellow police detective who steps in to try to save his brother from the carnage his investigation has let loose.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Eskens's elegant but chilly prose, like winter in the blood, is well suited to this fiercely told morality tale…which is sure to send all of us wretched sinners straight to hell.
Publishers Weekly
★ 08/10/2015
Edgar-finalist Eskens follows his highly praised debut, The Life We Bury (2014), with an equally compelling second novel starring Alexander Rupert, a disgraced Minneapolis police detective. Toiling away in the fraud unit while a grand jury investigates charges that he stole drug money, Rupert happens upon a case that he believes could return him to the department’s good graces: a man who faked his death 15 years earlier in a boat accident off Coney Island has just died for real in a Minnesota car crash. Rupert wants to know who James Putnam really was and why he staged the coverup. While his own life continues to spiral toward the drain, Rupert finds himself increasingly attracted to Putnam’s former live-in girlfriend, a temptress with elusive motivations. Eskens moves his plot along in a spare, sure-handed manner, avoiding clichés and stock situations. Elevating the story further are several unexpected turns down the homestretch, as well as several well-crafted characters who serve as examples of how good people can succumb to weakness. Readers looking for a new voice should pay attention to Eskens. Agent: Amy Cloughley, Kimberley Cameron Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Eskens’s elegant but chilly prose, like winter in the blood, is well suited to this fiercely told morality tale (and its deeply cynical ending), which is sure to send all of us wretched sinners straight to hell.”


"Readers looking for a new voice should pay attention to Eskens.”

Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"With just two books to his name, I have put [Eskens] on my ‘must read’ list.”

Deadly Pleasures

“Eskens has conjured up a marvelously black spirit of a novel. It’s a taut, intelligent, heart-ripping story that explores the darkest places in the human psyche. After each unexpected twist, you’ll tell yourself things can’t get any worse. And then they do.”
―WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER, New York Times–bestselling author of the Edgar® Award–winning Ordinary Grace

“The talented Allen Eskens fulfills the rich promise of his Edgar®-nominated debut with this chilling, dark, and sinister thriller. With precision and authority, Eskens’s determined cop hero takes one intriguing clue—and pursues it into spiraling disaster. With a deadly surprise around every corner and a bleak undercurrent of noir-like dread, this book will haunt you.” 
—HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author of Truth Be Told

“Another great, dark, and brooding page-turner from Allen Eskens, with a tragic protagonist who will break your heart. Eskens’s characters will haunt you long after you finish reading.”
—MICHAEL SEARS, award-winning author of the bestselling Jason Stafford series


WINNER! Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award, BEST DEBUT MYSTERY
WINNER! Silver Falchion Award, BEST FIRST NOVEL: traditional
2015 Edgar® Award Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
Minnesota Book Award Finalist, BEST GENRE NOVEL
Anthony Award Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
ITW Thriller Awards Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
MysteryPeople 2014 BEST DEBUT NOVEL
Suspense Magazine BEST BOOKS OF 2014/DEBUT AUTHOR


"Thriller fans should keep their eyes on Eskens; he's a comer." --BOOKLIST

"Compulsively suspenseful." --BOOKPAGE

"[A] masterful debut...." --PW STARRED REVIEW 

"An intelligent and compelling story with characters that will capture you from the start.... This debut novel never lets the reader off the edge of the seat--the mark of a great story." --THE BIG THRILL

"Set against the backdrop of a brutal Minnesota winter, The Life We Bury is much more than a satisfying, suspenseful novel.... This story kept me turning the pages, and it touched my heart. The characters are as real as my next-door neighbors, the story compelling, and the writing superb." --SUSPENSE MAGAZINE

"Eskens delivers interesting puzzles, clever problem-solving, and plenty of stay-up-all-night-reading suspense." --REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE

"Grabs the reader and never relinquishes its hold." --LIBRARY JOURNAL EDITOR'S FALL PICK

"A solid and thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years--none more dangerous than championing a bitter old man convicted of a horrific crime." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A mesmerizing debut, unfolding decades of secrets in a rewarding tale of redemption." --JULIE KRAMER, Minnesota Book Award winner

Kirkus Reviews
A freak accident provides a detective the chance to redeem his good name. The speeding car of a thrill-seeking couple jumps a median in late-night Minneapolis and kills a man in another lane. His license identifies him as James Putnam. But Detective Alexander Rupert, who's lately been transferred to the Forgery and Frauds Unit from the scandal-ridden Joint Drug Enforcement Task Force, finds out from an ambulance chaser that the dead man is actually someone else. Alexander eagerly takes on the case of identity theft as a chance to salvage a career that's under federal investigation. When the dead man's sexy live-in girlfriend, Ianna Markova, lets Alexander see his hard drive, the detective finds records of a tidy fortune and 10 annual deposits of $10,000 each. Alexander's big brother, Max, a homicide detective to whom he's close, pulls strings to get him sent to New York to track down Putnam's real identity. With the help of a feisty detective who might be a good match for the widowed Max, Alexander discovers that in 2001, the imposter, Jericho Pope, was supposedly killed in a boating accident. Instead, he swam to shore, went into hiding, took his roommate Putnam's identity, and started blackmailing the men who tried to kill him. He put certain incriminating videos on a flash drive Alexander wants so he can break the case and offset his former partner's testimony against him, his looming grand jury appearance, his wife's coolness, and even Max's growing doubts. Meantime, a hired gun without a human heart wants the drive too and is targeting everyone who gets in his way. As the bodies pile up, Alexander makes a desperate move that may be his only way out. Eskens (The Life We Bury, 2014) has upped the pace and the stakes in his second novel but with less success. His instincts are best when he focuses on the floundering Alexander and the brother who acts as his conscience.

Product Details

Prometheus Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Allen Eskens is the award-winning and USA Today–bestselling author of The Life We BuryThe Guise of Another, and The Heavens May Fall. A criminal-defense attorney for twenty-five years, he lives with his wife in Minnesota, where he is a member of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.

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The Guise of Another 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book! A big time thriller
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, hungry family, great book take out dinner, great book, family misses me. Need I say more? Buy it,read it love it!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a ride! This book has it all, intrigue, excitement, romance, it's riveting! Loved it, couldn't put it down. Highly recommend this wonderfully written book. I also highly recommend the authors debut novel, The Life We Bury, another fantastic book that cannot be put down. I anxiously await another book by this very talented writer. Don't hesitate to read both books, Bravo Allen Eskens, I know you will write another winner, please, soon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters. The book had excellent twists and turns. It kept my interest all the way to the end of the book. The novel included - adultery, murder, betrayal, thief, good and bad guys, brothers, good cops, bad cops, identity thief, lies, murder, and more. Well worth my time and money. The book deserves an A+++++++
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Nothing is more embarrassing than being an excellent detective respected by your peers in Minnesota and now shunned. Alexander Rupert hears kind words from his former peers but the conversation is always laced with the shadow of his awaiting a corruption hearing. Now he’s working in the Fraud Division and at least he now has a case to sink his teeth into, one to distract him from the tension regarding the charges against him and wondering what his future holds – or doesn’t hold. Even worse is the fact that his wife treats him like a stranger now, cold and avoiding him on a daily basis. Is she fooling around with another man? Rupert fears the worst which makes him even more forlorn. What ever happened to unconditional love and support? At first he spends his days replaying the past, both about the job and his wife. But now he’s got a chance to prove himself and he proceeds, as he always does, with everything he has in his powers and skills. This then is the story of searching for who stole the identity of James Proctor and then wound up dead. To say more would be to spoil one tension-riddled story that involves a hit man who seems to have killing in his genetic makeup. It will be Rupert’s brother who is truly there for the search and then the grand finale of this mystery! Criminal fiction is often predictable and stereotypical – not so here. Allen Eskens knows exactly when to lay on the mystery and when to insert scenes of careful thought and planning. Well done, Allen Eskins – great read for those who love mysteries, adventure and crime stories with a punch!
Twink More than 1 year ago
The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens is the follow up to his award winning debut novel The Life We Bury. And he's crafted another great read! There's a clever tie in connecting the two books. Detective Max Rupert was the homicide cop in The Life We Bury. But it is his younger brother Alexander who takes the lead role in The Guise of Another. Alexander is also a cop, but one demoted down to the Fraud Squad, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. A possible identity theft case that crosses his desk is much more involved than it appears on first glance. "That night, James Erkel Putnam - a man who walked in daylight, but lived in shadows, a man who thought he had all the time in the world to seek forgiveness for his many sins - never stood a chance." Alexander dives in, determined to salvage his reputation and his job by solving the case. And this reader also dived in and didn't look up 'til the wee hours of the morning! I desperately wanted to know who this man was and why he was living under another name. What did he do? Eskens' first book was lighter in tone with innocent protagonists. This time, it's darker, with a decidedly noir feel to the story that I quite enjoyed. Is Alexander truly the innocent he proclaims? His self destructive behavior leaves the reader wondering. I was kept on my toes the entire tale, not sure where Eskens was going to take his story. Throw in a nasty hitman, something quite valuable that everyone wants to get their hands on, more than one duplicitous woman and the plot thickens. But amongst all that, Eskens explores the relationships between the two brothers, between Alex and his wife and a few others. The title is quite apt, applying to the dead man, but also to almost every other character, most who seem to be hiding something. Even 'good' brother Max Rupert, who is hands down my favourite character. I'd love to see him in another book, even in a peripheral role. Another excellent page turner from Eskens. I highly recommend his books. Eskens is firmly on my must read list - I'll be eagerly awaiting his third novel.