cover image Secret Identity

Secret Identity

Alex Segura. Flatiron, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-80174-6

Set in 1975, this outstanding novel from Anthony Award winner Segura (the Pete Fernandez series) stars Carmen Valdez, an obsessive comic book fan since her childhood in Miami, Fla., who now lives in New York City and works on the periphery of her dream as an assistant at Triumph Comics, an afterthought in the then flailing comics industry dominated by Marvel and DC. When Triumph junior editor Harvey Stern approaches the creatively gifted Carmen to help him pitch a new series, it’s the opportunity to finally see one of her ideas come to life. Carmen agrees to Harvey’s request that she ghostwrite until he can leverage her involvement. They create the company’s first female superhero, the Lethal Lynx, who’s an immediate hit, though Harvey’s erratic behavior and the sudden arrival of an old flame from Miami complicate matters. When Harvey is murdered before he publicly acknowledges Carmen’s role, she’s forced to look for answers as she seeks to prevent someone else from transforming the Lethal Lynx into something soulless. Carmen navigates the shifting loyalties within the industry with aplomb. Segura’s infectious passion for superheroes shines in this page-turning mix of murder mystery and coming-of-age story. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (Mar.)