Identity by Ingrid Thoft

IdentityIdentity by Ingrid Thoft

“Thoft’s gripping sequel…A quirky and empathetic heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a surprise ending make this a winner.”
Publishers Weekly

Firecracker P.I. Fina Ludlow returns in the next hard-driving entry in the acclaimed series by Ingrid Thoft.

It’s been a couple months since Fina’s last big case—the one that exposed dark family secrets and called Fina’s family loyalty into question—but there’s no rest for the weary, especially when your boss is Carl Ludlow.

Renata Sanchez, a single mother by choice, wants to learn the identity of her daughter Rosie’s sperm donor. A confidentiality agreement and Rosie’s reticence might deter other mothers, but not Renata, nor Carl, who’s convinced that lawsuits involving cryobanks and sperm donors will be “the next big thing.” Fina uncovers the donor’s identity, but the solution to that mystery is just the beginning: within hours of the case going public, Rosie’s donor turns up dead.

Fina didn’t sign on for a murder investigation, but she can’t walk away from a death she may have set in motion. She digs deeper and discovers that DNA doesn’t tell the whole story and sometimes, cracking that code can have deadly consequences.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

This is one time when I have to say, no matter what is written in the book blurb, it will never do the complexities of this book justice.

“I’m not a battered wife, dumbnuts. I’m in a dangerous line of work.”

Wow. I’m not even sure where to begin. In a lot of crime/mystery thrillers you don’t really get the opinion that the character does anything other than work. They don’t eat, sleep or have any normal life outside of the work they do. That’s not the case with this novel. I have to admit, I dislike Fina for one reason…she eats…everything and never gains an ounce. I suppose though, that is fitting for a female P.I. who is always on the move. Seriously though, I have never seen a character with a bigger appetite.

As a main character, Fina can be a bit conceited at times, but not in a way that makes you dislike her. This is the first time I have ever read a novel with a female P.I. that I liked. Ingrid Thoft has a unique style of writing that allows the reader to feel close to the story. Rather than there being a big event and then lots of technical junk that bores you to death, she uses her main character to uncover little mysteries, one at a time until the big resolution happens in the end.

Fina was not obsessed with her love life every second of the story. I appreciated this as it seems it is usually the focal point of the story, often even taking over the mystery/murder. The complicated relationship she has with her family brought another element of realism to this book. When a character has other things beside their job at the heart of the story, I feel like they are much more plausible.

I also liked that Fina gets her butt handed to her a couple of times. The author is clearly not afraid to let anything happen to her main character, even though she is a woman. Loved it.

This novel was not only compelling, but also had moments of laugh-out-loud humour, which made it a lot of fun to read. There are some great descriptions, “Pitney was short and round and always brought to mind an armed garden gnome.”

You will also find some passages that just make you want to quote the book to whomever is nearest you, “And she hated all the euphemisms for death; when people passed it was either gas or a test. You die and you’re dead. That was that.”

I was a little bit surprised by the end of the book, it wasn’t the shocking-oh-I-could-never-have-guessed ending that many books in this genre tend to have. Instead, it was a smartly written conclusion to a book that already had a lot of those moments in it previously.

If you like mysteries, sassy main characters and want to live vicariously away from your diet, this is a book you want to read.


This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley, all opinions are my own.