Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, Detroit, Michigan
October 31, 1999.
Five unidentified bodies are brought in to the Wayne County morgue on Halloween night. Although each character is on a separate journey, fate leads each of the five victims to cross paths on the streets of Detroit en route to their tragic demise.
NYC Girl: a former dancer arrives back home from New York City to make amends with her mother and begin to rebuild her life.
Leaf Man: a musician and part-time DJ is on the cusp of his big break with one final, unexpected drug deal to complete before he can go totally straight.
R.I.P.: a career criminal must come up with a large sum of money to pay for his father’s medical expenses, despite his yearning for a crime-free life.
The Zealot: a religious fanatic on a mission from God to rid the city of filth.
Cat Man: a kind and trusting homeless man wanders the city looking for new friends.
Like the city in which it takes place, “Awaiting Identification” is a story of hope, identity, and above all, redemption.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
Awaiting Identification follows five unnamed figures whose bodies all turn up in the county morgue on one fateful night. Each of them is a tale of tragedy, strife, and hope of redemption. Each has had difficulties in life, for one reason or another. And each hopes to find their second chance in life in the troubled heart of Detroit. Each of the five is a complete a stranger, unknown to one another yet at some point and in some way, their stories and paths intersect.
I went into Awaiting Identification with high hopes. I love the idea of unknown people crossing paths and impacting the lives of those all around us in unknown ways. I was excited to uncover their stories, and redemption arcs. I couldn’t wait to see how they crossed over with one another.
The individual stories were quite interesting. Each had lived through their own traumas and troubles – some more than others. The book tells each story in turn. This sadly means that the crossovers in the earliest stories are a touch lost, given the reader is not fully aware of the characters beyond the one we are currently reading about. By the end of the book, the crossovers seemed forced for the sake of a narrative device. I also felt the sense of hope for redemption quickly waned knowing that all of the protagonists are dead before you start the book. While it is written well enough, the story had a promise that it didn’t fully realise for my liking.