|Annotation:||The Nebula Award Winner 1996|
She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van Oesterling had been the daughter of one of the world s most powerful families & and now she was nobody, and she had to hide.
Then out of the rain walked Spanner, predator and thief, who took her in, cared for her wound, and taught her how to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore now: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped & but the cost of her newfound freedom was crime and deception, and she paid it over and over again, until she had become someone she loathed.
Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner & and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and creating a new future.
But to start again, Lore required Spanner s talents Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner s game one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van Oesterling to be paid. Only by confronting her family, her past, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be &