Review of The Fox, The Dog, and The King (Cassie Tam Files #2) by Matt Doyle

New Hopeland City may have been built to be the centerpiece of the technological age, but some remnants of the old world still linger. The tools of the trade have changed, but the corruption remains the same, even in the criminal underworld …
When PI Cassie Tam and her girlfriend Lori try to make up for their recent busy schedules with a night out at the theatre to watch the Tech Shift performer Kitsune, the last thing they expected was for Cassie to get a job offer. But some people are never off the clock, and by the end of the evening, Cassie has been drawn into a mundane but highly paid missing pet case. Unfortunately, in New Hopeland City, even something as simple as little lost dog can lead you down some dark paths.
Until now, Cassie wasn’t aware that there even was a rabbit hole, let alone how far down it goes.

This is the second book in the Cassie Tam Files and is another solid addition to what is proving to be a very entertaining and different series. This book is set in Utah in the future and has a lot of cybertech in it. I especially enjoyed the “Tech Shift Gear Welcome Pack” at the end of the book that explains the Tech Shift Gear that features so prominently in this series.

Cassie is a Private Investigator that often reminded me of the old film noir type detectives. She is starting a new relationship with a woman from the case in the first book. Lori is a Tech Shifter, which Cassie is still trying to figure out. When Lori invites Cassie to go to a show put by another Shifter called Kitsune, little do they know that Cassie will be drawn into another case.

After the show (which is beautifully described), Kitsune asks to talk to Cassie about their missing dog, Fish. Cassie is offered a large sum of money and Lori steps in and accepts the case on her behalf.

However, the case turns out to be much more than just a missing dog. It seems that there is a spate of missing dogs in the area and Cassie is soon drawn into the world of a mafia-type organization. Are these doggy disappearances hiding something much bigger? And, if so, what is really going on?

This book combines cybertech with mystery in a different way and the author is very good at describing this new world. The character of Cassie develops a lot in this book and it seems like Lori’s influence might be good for her workaholic nature. The pace of the story is fast and yet develops at a reasonable speed at the same time.

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:
“You can tell when you’ve spent too long without a break when your brain decides to go film noir on you.”

“I get the idea of the right result not always being the accurate one, but unless it’s something major, I’ll stick with the truth.”

“Paranoia. It’s more useful than those with simpler lives understand.”

My only complaint about the book is the fact that the author has some really, really long paragraphs. I find that makes it a little difficult to read on an e-reader for some reason. Other that that minor complaint, I would recommend this book and this series to anybody who enjoyed “Blade Runner” or even old school PI books/movies. The cybertech aspects to the book are used in a subtle way and definitely don’t detract from the story.


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