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The Cassie Tam Files, Book 1
Matt Doyle
LGBT, Lesbian, Science Fiction
NineStar Press
May 8, 2017

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.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Marie Loring

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Matt Doyle is something of an evil genius. First, I’m not a fan of first-person fiction, and he sneakily drew me in without my normal kicking and screaming. Second, he made me adore his futuristic world, even though some of his tech-talk went way over my head. And third, how could I not love Cassie “Caz” Tam, a hard talking, jaded gumshoe with a soft side she (barely) hides well? I immediately took to all Doyle’s characters, and that’s where I believe his biggest strength lies, in character development. He made each protagonist enjoyable, whether they were good, bad, or somewhere in-between.

I got somewhat hung up, to start, on the plethora of “rules” he threw out, describing the futuristic city of New Hopeland, but quickly learned to move through those passages in a more relaxed fashion, finding that the knowledge he imparted came back to me and made sense when it was needed for plot advancement. And his plot was so well crafted!

A homicide is a homicide no matter the time period in which it takes place, and a well written who-done-it like Doyle’s is sure to get fans of detective stories and suspense hooked on his books and Cassie Tam. Start with a dead body, throw in a mix of potential bad guys, tantalize with a love interest, and Doyle has himself the perfect formula for a one-sitting read that will stay with you until… you pick up his next book!