The Patchwork Man

THE PATCHWORK MAN
by
Edwin Corley (as David Harper)

Dodd, Mead & Company – New York – 1975 Hardcover
 
Driver’s license, credit cards, Blue Cross registration, Social Security card, the snapshot of a pretty blonde woman hugging a young boy – these were the proofs of Bill Kirby’s identity. The day he put a match to them he ceased to exist. For his own safety the Justice Department had persuaded him to go underground. They gave him the training, a name and documents to start a fresh life in a distant state. But how long could the cleverly manufactured proof of his new existence fool the Bookkeeper – a hit man who knew how to use modern computers to home in on his target?
 
Kirby had made an unforgivable error. Instead of running when he heard two men quarreling in an Atlanta alley, he had stopped for a fatal instant, just long enough to see a fat man in a white suit shoot his adversary. Now he was a witness to a murder, caught between the law and the underworld. If he refused to identify the gunman, a killer would go free, to murder again. If he told the truth, he would draw everyone he loved into a circle of death. His enemies had been quick to give him a sadistic example of what would happen if he talked. Should an innocent bystander be forced to pay such a terrible price?
 
Here is a novel, unforgettable for its action-packed drama and for the spine-chilling questions it raises about the place of any individual in our computerized society.