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 is a bit of a genre hop for me and a rather delightful one. Addict is billed as an LGBTQ Sci-fi/Crime Noir, but while reading I got a definite Cyberpunk/Urban Fantasy vibe as well with a lesbian romance thread woven through. Genre bending for sure, but Addict lives up to every one.
Cassie Tam is a biracial PI making a living in a futuristic world where tech rules… as does corruption. Everyone from business owners to the police themselves are deep in a nepotistic society where making the wrong type of enemy can be dangerous to your health.
Lori Redwood seeks out Cassie when her brother’s death is ruled a run of the mill overdose. A fact she fights against knowing that, even though her brother was indeed an Addict (and I do SO love seeing where the title came from within the story), the drug he supposedly overdosed on was not his drug of choice.
Cassie thinks this will be an easy open and shut case.
To her I say, “Ha! Clearly you forgot you were the MC in a book.”
What ensues is a twisty, turny roller coaster as Cassie uncovers layer after layer of deceit covering the true facts. Every time she believes she has all the questions answered, another pops up and she’s forced to dig further… the end being a result no one (at least not this reader) could possibly see coming. But my lips are zipped except to say, you can’t trust anyone in the world that Matt Doyle has created for Cassie, Lori, and the misfit group of Tech Shifters, Addicts, and Pros that fill it.
Although I must admit, Bert was my favorite character, even with a limited vocabulary.
If you enjoy Sci-fi blended with unique elements from other genres and an air of mystery all topped off with a slow burn lesbian romance, you need to grab a copy of Addict ASAP. But keep those spoilers on the DL, because they are… *lips zipped*