Thanks to Flatiron Books for the ebook copy in exchange for my honest review
SECRET IDENTITY – Alex Segura (Releasing March 15th, 2022)
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.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Now, I’m a huge fan of anything noir fiction that can have that pulpy feel to it, so when I read the synopsis for SECRET IDENTITY I knew I needed to give this one a read. Not only does it have a great cover but the murder mystery will suck you in right from the start. If you’re a fan of comic books and murder, then I think this will be the perfect fit!
Carmen is working as an assistant at Triumph Comics with dreams of one day writing her own superhero book. Her dream is becoming a reality when one of the writers asks for her help with their first female hero, The Lethal Lynx. Per his request, her involvement needed to be kept secret which turns out to be a big problem when he turns up dead and the scripts turned in without mention of her. Of course, things get complicated further as she tries to unravel all the secrets to try and get her due credit.
All kinds of action and it was interesting getting that glimpse into the comic book world, I also enjoyed getting some actual comics included in the book which really helped pull you in even more. The writing was gripping and engrossing, the pace was quick, the author’s knowledge of the comic book industry is very evident, and I can’t wait for more from Segura in the future.