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The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Literary fiction

The Verifiers

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jane Pek, on your first book!

by Jane Pek

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Quick take

Family drama, dating app woes, and artificial intelligence, oh my! This witty debut novel has something for everyone.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Family_Drama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, LGBTQ_themes

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Brainy

    Brainy

  • Illustrated icon, Techie

    Tech world

Synopsis

Introducing a sharp-witted heroine for the 21st century: a new amateur sleuth exploring the landscape—both physical and virtual—of New York in a debut novel about love, technology, and murder.

Claudia Lin is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she's just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency.

A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client goes missing, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Verifiers.

The Verifiers

I.

I can tell right away that Iris Lettriste isn’t like the others.

Everyone else walks into Veracity wearing some residue of embarrassment. Their gazes skitter about, their sentences are potholed with ums and wells. They overexplain. They worry that we’ll judge them, or they get preemptively angry because they assume we do.

Iris Lettriste. This woman sits down and tells us about the guy she wants us to verify like she’s ordering her first coffee of an arduous morning and it’s vital that the barista gets it right.

Not to mention: Who goes to a dating detective agency to check up on someone they were flirting with on Soulmate Messenger for all of sixteen days?

At my verifier interview, when Komla explained what Veracity did and I said, with maybe a tad too much enthusiasm, “Like a detective agency?”, he looked faintly perturbed—which, I’ve come to realize with Komla Atsina, possibly meant he was one wrist flick away from consigning my résumé to the shred pile.

That man is harder to read than Finnegans Wake. A detective agency might seem like an obvious parallel, he said, but he tried to dissuade clients from viewing Veracity as such. The verifiers didn’t solve crimes, and they didn’t intervene in the course of events beyond reporting their findings to their clients. Think of us, said Komla, as a personal investments advisory firm.

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Why I love it

Jane Pek’s The Verifiers is so many books bundled together in one—office novel, family drama, literary thriller, mystery, romance—and like no reading experience I’ve had before. What begins as a book about the eerie technological intrusions into the dating world transforms into a murder mystery that kept me flipping eagerly through the pages.

Claudia Lin verifies identities for a living. Remember that person you dated who seemed a little too good to be true? Well, maybe they were—and Claudia’s the person who uncovers the truth. But when one of her clients, Iris Lettrise, dies unexpectedly, Claudia can’t leave the mystery of her death alone. Like you and me, she’s a huge reader, carrying in her head an encyclopedic knowledge of the Inspector Yuan mystery novels. Claudia relies on schemes lifted from these novels, often to her detriment, as the case stretches far beyond what she ever could have expected. Everyone in her life wants her to give up on the case. But she can’t.

As Claudia falls deeper into the mystery of Iris’s death—and the mystery of who Iris actually was—she risks losing her career and her friends and the life her mother envisioned for her all to learn the truth about the woman she barely knows and accept the truth about herself. Were her sacrifices worth it? You’ll have to add this book to your box to verify.

Member ratings (5,468)

  • Madison C.

    Charlotte, NC

    I havent ever read anything like this!The solution was a tad anticlimactic but I loved the end that left it open for a sequel. LOVED the IT part of it, don’t recommend if you aren’t a fan of AI & such

  • Anja T.

    Clarksdale, MS

    What an amazing debut! I loved The Verifiers and couldn’t put it down. The narrator’s voice was witty, funny, compassionate and very thoughtful - I imagine these are reflections of the author herself.

  • Vanessa C.

    PISGAH FOREST, NC

    Claudia is a likable, geeky, conscientious heroine—so relatable and funny! It almost wouldn’t matter what the mystery is about. But the best thing about Verifiers: literary references everywhere. Fun!

  • Kelly P.

    Duluth, MN

    Quirky mystery with unique characters who have depth and personaity. Couldn’t put it down! I appreciated the intelligent language; nice to read a mystery that’s not dumbed down for the modern reader.

  • Rebekah M.

    Indian Mound, TN

    Self-aware, cleverly entwined story threads, philosophy of new tech, and the hilarious thoughts of an LGBT Asian girl in New York City—this was perfect. And had the most impressive ending I’ve read!

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View all
Real Americans
Wellness
Margo’s Got Money Troubles
The God of the Woods
Same As It Ever Was
Annie Bot
Bear
Mercury
True Biz
Family Happiness
The Husbands
The Lady Waiting
The Other Valley
Hard by a Great Forest
Good Material
The Bullet Swallower
Alice Sadie Celine
Let Us Descend
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Banyan Moon
Shark Heart
Transcendent Kingdom
Hello Beautiful
Dominicana
What's Mine and Yours
The Unsettled
Ask Again, Yes
Vladimir
Infinite Country
The Prophets
Normal People
The Verifiers
Salvage the Bones
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
I Have Some Questions for You
Black Buck
The History of Love
Age of Vice
Paper Names
The Light Pirate
The Secret History
The Kite Runner
Memorial
The Half Moon
Happiness Falls
The Gifted School
The Death of Vivek Oji
The Knockout Queen
Little Monsters
Yerba Buena
Beautiful World, Where Are You
Free Food for Millionaires
A Burning
The Mothers
The Water Dancer
Small Country
The Sympathizer
Fleishman Is in Trouble
Lot
An American Marriage
The Animators
The Leavers
The Mars Room
Exit West
The Windfall
White Fur
Woman No. 17
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Eat Only When You're Hungry
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A Ladder to the Sky
Golden Child
The Goldfinch
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& Sons
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