Author: Alex Segura
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Book Description: From Anthony Award-winning writer Alex Segura comes Secret Identity, a rollicking literary mystery set in the world of comic books.
It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.
That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.
Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: Alex Segura writes a literary mystery set in the world of comic book publishing in the 1970’s, when the industry seems to be spiraling downward. Carmen is the assistant to the head of Triumph Comics. She grew up reading comics and her dream has been to write her own some day. Her boss does not necessarily agree with this idea, but when a co-worker and friend asks her to co-write a new series she decides this might just be the way in.
After the first couple of issues are released to some success her co-writer is murdered and this sets up Carmen trying to find out what really happened. As she gets deeper into her own investigation, other people become involved and she realizes there are secrets that run extremely deep.
The book started a little slow for me, but I am glad I stuck with this one. The back half of this book is very intriguing and fast paced when it is all said and done. It had a noir feel throughout the writing, and it completely worked for this particular book. Very fun book with lots of twists and turns.
Thank you NetGalley and Flatiron Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.