Saturday, March 19, 2022

Book Review: "The Verifiers" by Jane Pek

Jane Pek's debut novel, The Verifiers, is clever, thought-provoking, and insightful. It's a fascinating look at online dating and our connected world.

Claudia has been recruited to work at Veracity, an online-dating detective agency in New York City. Clients pay the company to investigate people they’ve been matched with, people they’ve been chatting with but don’t trust, even people who have ghosted them.

All of Veracity’s work is kept pretty secret —Claudia can’t even tell anyone where she works or what she does. But that’s fine, because her immigrant family wouldn’t approve, so she lets them believe she works for a financial firm. And that’s not all she’s hiding from them—she’d love to tell her mother she doesn’t want to be matched with a nice Chinese boy, because she likes girls.

When a client of Veracity’s disappears after asking them to look into several matches she had connected with, Claudia believes there’s more to the whole story. A lifelong mystery lover, she can’t help but start doing her own digging into these matches and what might have happened to the client. And what she discovers is a web of secrets and lies, not just around the client, but around Veracity as well.

The Verifiers was a really interesting story—complex in some ways but familiar in others. It was wryly funny at times, part mystery, part social commentary on online dating and the pressure placed on children of immigrant families. It’s a slow-moving book at times, but I found it really fascinating.

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