cover image The Janes: An Alice Vega Novel

The Janes: An Alice Vega Novel

Louisa Luna. Doubleday, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-54551-8

What starts as a straightforward, if extremely challenging, assignment—figuring out who killed two barely teenage Latina Jane Does and dumped them in the San Diego, Calif., area—quickly turns treacherous for PIs Alice Vega and Max Caplan in Luna’s gripping sequel to 2018’s Two Girls Down. Brought in by SDPD Cmdr. Roland Otero to investigate under the radar, the pair get an early break from forensic evidence that not only offers them an angle into the case but strongly suggests that the girls were being sexually trafficked. When the partners swiftly identify a prime suspect, Otero bafflingly thanks them for their efforts and asks them to stand down. Which is the last thing that pit-bull-focused Vega is about to do, plunging the now-rogue team into a perilous sprint to stay one step ahead of the ostensible good guys as they race to unravel a plot as dark and twisted as one of the tunnels the bad guys use for smuggling between Mexico and the U.S. Though the fast and furious action sometimes stretches credulity, in marked contrast to the gritty realism of the rest of the novel, this dynamic duo rates a long run. Agent: Mark Falkin, Falkin Literary. (Jan.)