Jane Pek’s debut, The Verifiers, is well-written and starts with so much potential, but ultimately tries to accomplish too much and weave together too many storylines to make any one storyline that effective or satisfying.
Introducing a sharp-witted heroine for the 21st century: a new amateur sleuth exploring the landscape—both physical and virtual—of New York in a debut novel about love, technology, and murder.
Claudia Lin is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she’s just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency.
A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client goes missing, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.
The Verifiers started out unbelievably strong for me but ultimately, my interest petered out by the end. I really enjoyed Claudia’s voice, her observations (her overall as a character, really), the family dynamics, and I loved how Claudia would draw parallels between the case and the Inspector Yuan stories that she’d read. I found the underlying mystery itself and the ending to be lackluster, however, and my interest had dropped significantly by the end.
I also think there were certain plot points that weren’t necessary and just added length without real substance to the underlying story. I would have enjoyed this more if it’d perhaps been a bit shorter and had focused more intently on Claudia, her family dynamic, or the underlying mystery.
Read This If
- You enjoy thoughtfully written and realistic characters
- You enjoy books that dip their toes in a variety of genres (part mystery, literary fiction, family fiction, etc.)
I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher. This has not impacted or influenced my review or opinions.
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