This fast-paced mystery will keep readers invested until the final page with its razor sharp, quick witted protagonist and colorful assortment of characters. The story kicks off when, as a sort of farewell gift, the escort mails Chris, a reporter and client who considers her his “ATF,” a journal of the evidence she's collected on the death of one of her prestigious clients … after she has pulled off a disappearing act. Since she’s always operated in the shadows, never divulging personal information, she’s uniquely positioned to take on an investigation that will win her powerful foes. As she pieces together that her client, Ben, was running a Ponzi scheme that many of her other clients had invested in, she fears that her lucrative escort work will be in jeopardy. It doesn't take long for her to uncover that her life is, too, as she realizes that the killer is someone very close to her—and may be keeping an eye on her through unconventional means.
Scandal, murder, and duplicity create a thrilling tension in this suspenseful, character-driven novella, Jackson’s debut. Jackson’s research into the reality of sex work gives the story persuasive power, the mystery plotting is suitably twisty, and the protagonist is funny, focused, and quick on her feet. Fans of cozy mysteries and unreliable narrators will speed through this novella.
Takeaway: Promising debut whodunnit with a sharp-witted escort as detective.
Comparable Titles: A.R. Torre’s The Girl in 6E, Gillian Flynn’s “The Grownup.”
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A