I got this book about six months ago courtesy of LibraryThing and Cuneiform Books (which seems to have only published this one book... odd). I was pretty frantic with worry about something else entirely, and I read the whole thing in one day because I was desperate for distractions. That aside, I'd recommend reading it slowly to remember the details.
Art of Darkness is a very interesting nonfiction book on a topic that I've never seen addressed before--the art and science of false identities. It looks at how false identities are created, from fake IDs to real-time performance on the street, from con men to undercover police. The history of false identities is intermixed with descriptions of methods and discussions of the various issues associated with having one, including the criminal aspects and the problems some undercover cops have disengaging themselves from their deep cover identity.
It was very understandable from the point of view of someone who only knows about crime and crimefighting from TV. It did drag and get repetitive in some chapters, but like I said I've never seen a book about this subject before, so she doesn't get too specialized and tries to stay general. There are a lot of different viewpoints and plenty of firsthand information from interviews Schneider conducted.
I recommend this book for people interested in true crime. It's also a great writing resource, not just for those writing crime fiction but for anyone writing something involving a fake ID or an impersonation. However, it's not really light reading or reading-for-pleasure material.
I post weekly reviews of books in all genres, though I have a special affinity for fantasy and YA. Reviews are posted on Fridays or shortly thereafter, are spoiler-free or clearly marked, and feature recommendations for similar books near the end of the review. I make an effort to give exposure to books that are not already highly publicized and/or are not brand new. If you're passing out review copies and think I might like your book, email me!
My name is Fatalis Fortuna, Fate for short. I am currently a student and a part-time librarian. When I'm not working, I occupy myself with all things fictional, be they in print, on television, or on the silver screen; my two cats, Amontillado (after "The Cask of Amontillado," of course), and Alice (after Alice in Wonderland,); and my novel-in-progress, which is of course the next Great American Novel. To my knowledge it will be the first Great American Novel that is YA urban fantasy, and for this I will become both famous and rich. I've been published in both regional magazines and national magazines (Teen Ink, anyone?), but have not yet cracked the professional market.
Feel free to ask for a list of books in my BookMooch inventory. They're there because I want to give them away, don't be shy.