THE JANES by Louisa Luna


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A former police officer and a for-profit vigilante reunite to fight crime and corruption on the southern border.

Divorced ex-cop Max “Cap” Caplan is on the verge of accepting a full-time PI position with a Denville, Pennsylvania, law firm when he receives an email from bounty hunter Alice Vega: She’ll pay him $10,000 if he’ll join her on a job in San Diego. Even though his last collaboration with Vega (Two Girls Down, 2018) imperiled both him and his teenage daughter, Nell, Cap drops everything and hops a plane to California, where he learns that he and Vega will be working as off-book consultants for the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the San Diego Police Department. Both agencies suspect that two murdered Jane Does—young Latinas with almost sequentially numbered IUDs—were being trafficked for prostitution but are too busy dealing with Mexican drug tunnels to investigate. Despite having received pledges of full support, Vega senses their employers are hiding something, and her suspicion is confirmed when the pair uncovers a lead and gets kicked off the case. Undeterred, Cap and Vega redouble their efforts to find any remaining women and bring everyone involved to justice, consequences be damned. Luna delivers nearly 200 pages of by-the-numbers mystery before launching headlong into an intricately plotted, adrenaline-fueled conspiracy thriller. The stakes escalate as the odds against Cap and Vega mount, ratcheting up tension and intensifying drive while developing the characters. In contrast with her debut, Luna this time develops the burgeoning attraction between empathetic Cap and Jack Reacher–esque Vega, resulting in a series duo with legs.

Luna’s latest entertains while subverting gender stereotypes and confronting the politics of immigration.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-385-54551-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019


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