A collection of short stories all about Otto McGavin, following him through his working life as a spy. He's a specialist who impersonates people suspected criminals know so he can infiltrate their organisations, his body changed to look like a person he is replacing and his personality adjusted so his reactions are as close to the original person as possible.
McGavin becomes a pompous anthropologist to investigate disappearances among humans studying an alien workers. A hired assassin involved in plans for war, and a fake priest taking advantage of a benign, very long lived race. Within each story he has to discover what is going on and why, before stopping any criminal activity he finds.
Within each story McGavin has to cope with impersonating someone within their group of friends and contacts, careful not to slip up in any way, and working with limited information and equipment that he can smuggle in to the situations. As the jobs mount up, with more implied between the ones in the stories, McGavin's own personality starts to suffer, and he gets more cynical about the people he is working for and why.
A good set of interlinked stories. I found the way McGavin was discovered was a bit similar between two of the stories, but considering they were published six years apart originally it's easy to overlook. For a fast paced action read with some neat twists and ideas, you won't go far wrong with this one.
Review by Paul Silver, 2004
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