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by Nicholas Mennuti and David Guggenheim
Mulholland, July 2013
352 pages
ISBN: 0316199958

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

How well do you know anyone…including yourself? When Kyle West comes under pressure from the government over his contracting job, he decides to flee instead of facing the music, despite his innocence. Yet, he finds himself in Cambodia, alone and paranoid and questioning his decision.

When Julian Robinson, a man who has very similar physical characteristics to West, approaches him in a bar in Phnom Penh and tells him about his own story, the perfect solution appears. Robinson offers to exchange passports with Robinson, as well as agreeing to provide some inside dirt on the man conducting the Congressional hearings from which West has fled.

With increasing pressure and having spotted a tail, West feels he has little choice but to accept Robinson's offer. After all, how could Robinson's identity and problems be any worse than his own? Unfortunately, if West thought his problems were being resolved, it appears that he was very wrong. In fact, more than a few people are after Robinson and the story he presented (both in person and online) is not what it initially appeared to be.

West's only solution is to go on the hunt for Julian Robinson, even as the rest of Cambodia (and several other nations) believe that West is Robinson. It all makes for non-stop action and daring choices as Kyle West seeks to regain his own identity, for better or for worse.

Writers Nicholas Mennuti (a writing instructor at NYU) and David Guggenheim (a screenwriter of movie thrillers) combine to write their first successful novel in WEAPONIZED. Its ripped-from-the-headlines appeal and action-packed storytelling will leave readers satisfied, even as they wonder just when the movie version might appear. Even better than a movie, however, they manage to slip into the book's dialogue and stream-of-consciousness sequences some thought-provoking topics, of both personal and global nature, while never letting up on the story's pace or drive to the finish.

§ Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, August 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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