Save Me from Dangerous Men

S.A. Lelchuk. Flatiron, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-17024-8
At the start of Lelchuk’s terrific debut, 33-year-old Nikki Griffin picks up a man in an Oakland, Calif., bar, then beats him to a pulp. Why? “Because you had it coming,” she tells him. He was abusing his girlfriend, and Nikki, a Berkeley bookstore owner by day and a PI by night, helps victims by ensuring their abusers won’t do it again. Meanwhile, the CEO of Care4, a high-profile Silicon Valley startup, hires Nikki to investigate Karen Li, an employee who might be stealing intellectual property. The resourceful Nikki follows Karen to shadowy meetings in San Francisco and, eventually, to Mendocino as she begins unraveling a complex tapestry of corporate intrigue. Lelchuk does a fine job weaving the intense foreground story with Nikki’s painful personal life, which includes a junkie brother living in squalor in Oakland. This intelligent, action-packed thriller will resonate with readers as it touches on such themes as domestic violence, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the intrusive potential of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence. A credible plot and solid prose are pluses, but the book’s real appeal stems from its powerful, distinctive protagonist. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/22/2019
Release date: 03/19/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-9835-5
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