John Shannon is a petty thief on the run. A three-time loser framed for a murder he didn't commit, he knows the cops are closing in on him and that he is facing life in prison—or death by lethal injection. Then, as if out of nowhere, a bizarre text message draws him to a meeting in the dark of night. A foreigner who calls himself the "Identity Man" offers Shannon an incredible chance to start again: a new face, a new home, a new beginning.
Soon, to his amazement, Shannon finds himself living a life he never dreamed possible. In a ruined city that is trying to rebuild, he finds work as a carpenter and a wood carver. He meets the beautiful Teresa Grey and for the first time falls in love with the sort of woman who could make him a better man.
It seems too good to be true—and it is. Just as Shannon feels within sight of redemption, all hell breaks loose. It turns out this ruined city is crawling with corruption. There are crooked politicians, gangsters, dirty cops everywhere—and, for some reason he doesn't understand, all of them seem to want Shannon dead.
John Shannon has run out of second chances, and now he is running out of time. Moving through the darkness in the burnt-out shambles of a dirty town, he has got to ferret out the secret of his new life—and fast—if he wants to be left with any life at all.