09 Feb / The Verifiers by Jane Pek [in Booklist]
Her boss calls Veracity “a personal investments advisory firm,” but to Claudia Lin, “a month into the job, it’s obvious to me that our clients think of us as a detective agency.” What she’s hired to do is verify details for clients who don’t quite trust (over)statements made on dating app profiles by potential partners. And then Iris Lettriste walks in, requesting verification for a match she hasn’t yet even met in person, and ends up not only dead but someone else.
So much for reliable data. She’s actually Iris’ sister, Sarah Reeves, a drop-out journalist who allegedly overdosed. Literary Claudia, with her obsession for Inspector Yuan thrillers, isn’t convinced it was suicide. She’s determined to solve this labyrinthine mystery of Gordian knot twists, tracking cheaters, rivals, synths, and bots. Meanwhile, she’s trying to live her life as the favored youngest of three raised by a judgmental Taiwanese immigrant mother, overshadowed by her financial genius brother and can’t-turn-away-gorgeous marketing professional sister.
Despite clever writing and headline-grabbing narrative spins, Singapore-born New York City lawyer Jane Pek’s debut disappointingly devolves into unwieldy sprawl.