cover image The Last Resort: A Jen Lu Mystery

The Last Resort: A Jen Lu Mystery

Michael Kaufman. Crooked Lane, $28.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-63910-207-5

Set in 2034, Kaufman’s stellar sequel to 2021’s The Last Exit presents Washington, D.C., police detective Jen Lu and Chandler, the biocomputer implanted in her neocortex, with a complex murder case. Patty Garcia, “Time Magazine Person of the Year for leading the landmark civil suit against the oil, gas, and coal giants” and a rumored presidential candidate, was golfing in Rock Creek Park, repurposed for commercial purposes after Disney bought the National Park Service, when she was apparently accidentally struck in the head by a golf ball. The blow knocked her unconscious, and she died soon afterward. The fatal golf shot came from an apparent stranger, hedge fund CEO Peter Trebook, who was in the group playing after Garcia and who denied any ill intent. Despite Trebook’s credible testimony, which convinces even Chandler, Lu believes Garcia was murdered. Acting on her suspicions, she follows her squad’s mandate to “take creative initiatives to investigate crime,” despite the danger to herself. The near-future worldbuilding, the pacing, the plot twists, and the characters are all top-notch. Kaufman remains a rising talent. Agent: Ginger Curwen, Julia Lord Literary. (Jan.)