The Verifiers by Jane Pek The Verifiers by Jane Pek
Narrator: Eunice Wong
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on February 22, 2022
Source: Library
Genres: Contemporary Mystery
Length: 11 hrs 46 mins
Pages: 368
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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three-half-stars

Introducing a sharp-witted heroine for the 21st century: a new amateur sleuth exploring the landscape—both physical and virtual—of New York in a debut novel about love, technology, and murder.

Claudia Lin is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she's just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency.

A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she's landed her ideal job. But when a client goes missing, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

The Verifiers is a fun book, part mystery, part family drama, and part exploration of the data we provide online to corporations and how they might use that.

Claudia Lin, our amateur detective, is the youngest, and at least according to her mom the least successful, of three siblings. She has left her low-level corporate job to work at Veracity, but she hasn’t told her family. Claudia is a mystery lover and Veracity is a bit like a detective agency, allowing wealthy clients to investigate people they meet on dating sites. Veracity takes on a new client, a woman who wants them to investigate two men she met online, but whom she is no longer in contact with. At first, it’s just interesting, but then the client is found dead in her apartment, an apparent suicide.

Claudia is a likable character. She’s smart and funny. She loves books and bicycling through New York. She’s a lesbian and a romantic by nature but avoids romance in her real life. I liked her even if I was sometimes annoyed by the conclusions she jumped to. I liked how Claudia keeps comparing it to her favorite fictional detective books; I Iiked all the literary references actually. I listened to the audio and the narrator did a great job of making her come alive. I also like the people who surround her, her coworkers who each have their own issues, her roommate, her family, even her mom.

I thought the discussion around dating platforms and how companies use our data and could manipulate our choices was interesting.

The mystery itself was a little unsatisfactory. . We have bunches of clues and suspects and red herrings, but the reveal was a little – anticlimactic. I don’t know that I care though. I enjoyed the novel, it moved along quickly, the characters were interesting, and New York is a great setting.

  • technology
  • family drama
  • murder staged as suicide
  • diverse characters

About Jane Pek

Jane Pek was born and grew up in Singapore, and now lives in New York. She has a BA in History from Yale University, a JD from the New York University School of Law, and an MFA from Brooklyn College.

Her short fiction has been anthologised in The Best American Short Stories. Her debut novel is The Verifiers.

During the day, and sometimes night, she works as a lawyer at a global investment company.

Some of the things she’s into: picking up different martial arts, reading coming-of-age novels, watching contemporary theatre, and cycling around the city in search of superlative almond croissants.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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