The second book in O’Dell’s near-future Sherlockian thriller series takes the reader on a game of cat-and-mouse where our protagonist, Dr. Janet Watson, struggles in the midst of chaos and danger to continue trusting her colleague/housemate/friend--I would say “partner” except that word carries some erroneous implications when you’re talking about two queer women--Sara Holmes.
Janet’s progress to reclaim her career as a surgeon in the face of reliance on a high-tech prosthetic arm is derailed when disappears abruptly, and then leads Janet on a terrifying treasure-hunt of clues, contacts, and disguises deep into the heart of enemy territory on a rescue mission that requires her still-uncertain surgical skills.
I’ve grown very attached both to Watson and to the maddeningly unpredictable Holmes, whose background we learn more about in hints and the rare quiet moments of the story. There’s plenty of action and all-too-realistic violence, as well as a sketch of a fractured America that is terrifyingly believable these days.
If you like twisty, fast-paced thrillers that center queer women of color, then you may love this series as much as I do. (Probably best to start with the first book, A Study in Honor, though if you’re a quick study and comfortable with filling in backstory in your head, you could read this one first.)