Brilliant crime fiction!

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“Cap watched Vega carefully. He knew what her questions would be before she asked them, but she still managed to make them seem fresh, innocent, curious. She pulled every last bit of information from Sarita Guerra like she was winding the string on a kite, drawing it in for a tight, safe landing.”

The Janes is the second book in the Alice Vega series by American author, Louisa Luna. The two “Jane Does” were Latinas, probably illegals, with the same killer, and a piece of evidence indicates there are more girls somewhere, maybe still alive. Alice Vega is called in by the San Diego PD and the DEA; off the books, cash. She insists on bringing in her own consultant.

Even though he has just received a permanent work offer from a lawyer in Denville, with all the benefits that entails, Max Caplan jumps at the chance to work with Alice again: clearly, despite an interval of many months since their first encounter, his crush has not abated.

There is something not quite right about the whole thing, so Vega, always cautious, holds back some of her findings and, when certain people begin acting out of character, her reluctance to share is vindicated. Still, with her brilliant deductive mind and her excellent IT resources, she and Cap are quickly on the way to locating the girls. But this turns out to be far more dangerous than they might have expected when Mexican drug lords form part of the bigger picture.

Vega and Caplan’s second outing is fast-paced and cleverly plotted, with more than one exciting climax. As before, the dynamic between these two is a delight. Vega is smart, imaginative and resourceful, physically fit, accomplished with weapons and, in this instalment, creative with a set of bolt-cutters. And she is skilled in both psychological and physical persuasion (yes, there is violence). Cap has different talents and intuitively follows Vega’s lead. Cap’s inside knowledge of policing complements Vega’s strong sense of justice.

The minor characters are certainly more than one-dimensional, while the dialogue offers plenty of humour, some of it deliciously dark. The story does contain a few minor spoilers for the first book, but these little tastes are likely to tempt readers to indulge in Two Girls Down, if they have not already done so. Fans will be pleased that the ending does not preclude further hook-ups between this pair, so it is to be hoped that Luna has many more shots of Vega and Caplan in her arsenal. Brilliant crime fiction!
This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Text Publishing.