The Last Girl

Danny Lopez. Oceanview, $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-60809-252-9
A chance encounter in a bar leads to a new career for Dexter Vega, a recently laid-off investigative journalist at Florida’s Sarasota Herald, in the pseudonymous Lopez’s uneven debut. Dexter takes pity and offers a ride home to Nick Zavala, who’s dressed like a bum but turns out to live in a stylish house on the bay with a museumworthy art collection. Nick, who admires Dexter’s journalism work, tells his guest that his college-age daughter, Maya, has gone missing. Despite knowing nothing about Nick (and doing no subsequent research into the guy), Dexter agrees to find Maya. From a Siesta Key con man who was living with Maya, Dexter discovers that she’s in Mexico. Things get complicated when Nick is murdered; Dexter becomes a suspect, and he decides to go to Mexico City in search of answers. Dexter takes a few beatings and unearths a lot of unpleasant things about Nick on the way to the contrived resolution. Too many unlikely developments weaken the plot, but Lopez’s assured prose suggests he’s capable of better next time. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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