cover image The Last Breath: A Dexter Vega Mystery

The Last Breath: A Dexter Vega Mystery

Danny Lopez. Oceanview, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-60809-297-0

Set in Sarasota, Fla., Lopez’s so-so sequel to 2017’s The Last Girl finds self-pitying unemployed reporter Dexter Vega in desperate need of a job. At the suggestion of a newspaper editor acquaintance, Dexter gets in touch with Bob Fleming, a retired hedge fund manager who’s unhappy with the police investigation of the death of his 27-year-old son, Liam. A fit athlete, Liam supposedly drowned while kayaking in the calm Intracoastal Waterway, and Bob wants someone to find out what really happened. Besides learning that Liam lived like a beach bum, but was using his father’s money to buy real estate that he never sold, Dexter uncovers holes in the report of the police detective involved in the case. The odd behavior of Bob’s trophy wife, Brandy, raises his suspicions, but often he follows the wrong scent. More through luck than skill, Dexter bumbles his way toward unraveling the mystery of Liam’s death. Smooth prose compensates only in part for a familiar plot. [em](Oct.) [/em]