Based on actual facts of the case, the novel follows Stone as he chases the Cowboy across Europe and the United States and–with the help of FBI, ex-KGB and CIA agents, the Secret Service, Interpol and the Irish police force–pieces together the Cowboy’s web of illegal aliases and criminal intent. Just how did a Texan travel to Ireland and obtain so many official Irish passports? What is the evil secret at the heart of the multiple identity thefts? Will Stone catch the Cowboy in time for the innocence to be restored to the children’s identities?
Author David Snow is the real-life investigator who handled the case on which SOMEONE HAS TAKEN MY PLACE is based: it involved Jeremy Cochran, a Texan who traveled from Dallas to Ireland intent on creating fresh identities from Irish babies who died around 1975, the time of his own birth.
After an international chase, in January 2011 Cochran was arrested at Dublin Airport by Irish specialist Fraud Detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations. He was attempting to board an international flight, traveling on an official Irish passport issued to an Irish baby who died in 1975.
“This case affected me in many personal ways,” says Snow, “as I lost my own son Andrew in 2003 at the time of his birth. I feel that in some way I was motivated or perhaps chosen to investigate this case. I felt compelled to tell the story and in some way to give justice to the parents whose children’s identities had been used for committing crime.”
Snow adds that initially, the book was written as a true story, “but when I saw the amount of pain it caused for the parents of the children, I went back and fictionalized it. Also, I didn’t want him to get any additional fame. I got a lot of personal satisfaction out of writing the book: one, I saw justice served, and two, it’s always been a passion of mine, to write a book; it’s like I’m leaving something.”
Originally published in Ireland, SOMEONE HAS TAKEN MY PLACE has sold well there, Snow notes. He’s releasing it in the U.S. because “I am grateful to the United States for the support it has given my country, Ireland, and also for the employment and experience I had during my time with Pinkerton.”
Snow reports that since the case, certain changes have been made to the system so that “stricter proof than a birth certificate is now required to get a passport.”
It is Snow’s hope that SOMEONE HAS TAKEN MY PLACE will alert readers to the problems of insurance fraud and identity theft, and to educate them “that ripping off of insurance companies is a crime we all pay for and how law enforcement, working together, can stop it.”
About author David Snow
Irish-born David Snow has been working in the private and insurance investigation arena since 1989. He was employed by the American investigation agency Pinkerton in 1993 and became the General Manager of the Irish operation in 1996, leaving in 2001 to pursue a career within insurance fraud investigation. Today he is Head of Special Investigations for the Irish operation of a multinational insurance company, and has received several awards for his expertise in detection, investigation, and prevention of crimes of identity theft. He lives in Dublin, Ireland with his wife and children.
Someone Has Taken My Place
398 page paperback, $15.99; ISBN: 978-1-4800-35-
Kindle edition, $7.99
Published by Amazon CreateSpace (December 2012)
Available at amazon.com