You will learn in time t to expect things. You must turn your expectations to ather area of your mind. - Lui, in The Applicant In The Applicant, Michael Condon has written a thought-provoking, well plotted mystery. The reader begins by thinking it's one thing, then decides it's ather, then gives up and simply reads with excitement to see what it will turn out to be. Martin Anderson is a recent college grad; or is he? He is a Buddhist monk in training; or is he? He is a spy, he is an accountant, he is a former military man. One thing is clear: Anderson has lost his memory. And he is being pursued. By a man named Todd. Or Ted. Or both. The tale begins when Anderson meets Lui, an ancient monk, in Thailand. Like a stream-of-consciousness movie, the story jumps around, keeping the reader enthralled. Anderson finds himself on a mountain, meets Lui, is given the name Jin, is taught the arts of self-defense. He wakes up again as Anderson, traveling to Hong Kong; his passport indicates he has visited Thailand, and has a visa to go to China, but these are false papers. Or are they? He has been sent to do something (espionage?) but he decides t to. Throughout the story, Anderson exercises his will, though he has reliable memories. He has basic morality, and that seems to pull him through as he tries to unravel the mystery of who he is or was. Eventually, he meets Polly, a waitress with empathy, and eventually, he and Polly will try to save each other by saving the world, or a small piece of it. With all the twists and turns of the story, some violence and some highly varied settings, Condon shows his gifts as a teller of tales. Such passages as this, as Anderson examines the content's of Ted's desk drawer, show just how scary-well Condon can compose: He seemed to have spent a great deal on money on unusual things, such as a plastic mannequins to wooden legs. No one today used wooden legs. Also on the list was vampire blood.