The Verifiers by Jane Pek
This book might give anyone who is using online dating platforms a pause to think about who is really on the other side. Claudia Lin is a huge mystery reader and when a real life mystery presents itself, Claudie cannot help but to dive in and try and solve the case. After leaving the job her brother helped her get, Claudia starts working at Veracity, which claims to be a detective agency for verifying who you met online is really who they say they are. Claudia enjoys this job and learns how the online matchmaking companies work and the supporting companies who help or profit from the online matchmaking systems. A client comes to them asking for verification of two matches, and then suddenly dies. The client’s sister then comes to Veracity explaining that her sister was a journalist major and used her identity with online matchmakers as part of her research and would like to know what Veracity was doing for her sister. Claudia is eager to help and find out what caused their client’s death, her boss has other ideas and tells Claudia that is not what Veracity does. Of course there are false possibilities for who the real killer is, but the plot twist of who really killed their client blew me away. Claudia learns about the bots on matchmakers that help boost numbers, and the “synths” who might even engage with real users, and of course the next generation of synths and what they are doing. It could give the reader a pause to think who or what is on the other end of the screen. Fun read, the LGBT aspect seemed a bit forced, because Claudia’s story was discussed, but usually as a way to help move the mystery plot forward or give a better background. Enjoyable book, but it just seemed odd to have it mentioned on the jacket cover that Claudia prefers girls and it be just a minor plot point, it might even be a stretch to say it was involved in the plot at all. Great mystery, fantastic plot twist on who the murderer is and what happens to them. No character list as that could lead to a few spoilers that mystery fans would not appreciate.