The Last Girl – Danny Lopez

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Exceptional

“Now I was a fucked-up has-been unemployed reporter for a small-town paper. All that hard work, the anger, the resolution, the desire, the accomplishments—it had all been for nothing. I was as good as my dying father on that lone stretch of asphalt outside San Antonio, Texas.”

 

So when Dexter Vega is offered ten thousand dollars to find a wealthy businessman’s daughter, Maya, he can’t refuse. After all, he’s running out of money and there aren’t many hard reporting jobs in Sarasota Florida, a popular tourist town for rich people and students on spring break.

When he goes over to his client’s house, he learns that this guy made his money in sex paraphernalia and continues to flaunt it throughout his house. Is Maya really missing or does she just not want to be found?

Dex learns from the University that Maya is on a diving expedition searching for axolotl, an almost extinct type of salamander in the canals of Xochimilco, outside of Mexico City.

Strange things start to occur in Dex’s life. An old flame suddenly reappears, and worse, he finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. This prompts him to travel to Mexico to find the truth as well as to exonerate himself.

Dexter Vega drinks too much, lives with a cat, is divorced and doesn’t see his young daughter often enough. He also wears his heart on his sleeve. Sound familiar? Maybe so, but The Last Girl offers so much more.

So many times I thought I had the story figured out, but I was so wrong. This page-turner is full of so many twists that I couldn’t put it down. The characters add to the enrichment as do the settings from the wealthy Florida coast to the culturally-rich Mexico.

We also learn how Dex got to be the man he is and can’t help but feel for this somewhat naive romantic who just wants to right the wrongs of society and give a voice to those who cannot do so for themselves.

If you enjoy gritty crime fiction with a little dry humor sprinkled in, you’re sure to love The Last Girl.

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