About the Book
Title: Addict (The Cassie Tam Files, #1)
Author: Matt Doyle
Length: 191 pages
Published: May 8, 2017
Category: lesbian fiction
Genre: science fiction
New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options…
For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.
When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.
Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.
This fairly quick read is an interesting take on the future of several present-day pastimes and communities. It’s well-constructed and detailed, but not so much that the plot becomes lost in the world-building.
I liked Cassie right from the start. She’s complex and flawed yet not unlikable. Cassie is well-developed as a character. We don’t really get her backstory until the end, delivered all at once in dialog. I might have liked for it to come up in smaller bits so that we could piece it together for ourselves, especially since this is only the first in the series. That said, she definitely does have an intriguing story, and I’m hoping this will be important in future parts.
The technology described throughout the story is intriguing. I had a little trouble figuring out when this is supposed to be set. It’s clearly in the future, but I couldn’t discern how far. So many things seem not to have changed between present day and this high-tech world, especially in terms of culture and relationships. I suppose I’d have thought we would make more progress.
I loved the way the mystery unfolded. There were plenty of clues, and half the fun was in figuring things out at the same time Cassie did. For me, the highlight of the book was all the cool virtual and digital stuff. I enjoyed the way everything wrapped up with Cassie’s case.
The relationship between Cassie and Lori is nice. It felt natural to me, and I appreciated that it was allowed to just be a little bit of sweetness in between the action. It did not at all overwhelm the plot. The bit at the very end felt superfluous, but I’m interested in seeing where that goes. I like both Cassie and Lori, and the way they interacted left me feeling like they’d be good for each other.
All in all, this was a good read, and I’m looking forward to reading more. In the meantime, I’ll need to check out the author’s other work.
For a good, old-fashioned mystery with a high-tech twist, a likable hero, and romance that didn’t get in the way, this gets 8/10 fountain pens.
About the Author
Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.
These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.