MYSTERY

The Man Who Wouldn’t Die

Morrow. Aug. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780062201201. pap. $16.99ebk. ISBN 9780062201218. M
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In Silicon Valley, where everyone has gone nuts over technology, one dinosaur still exists. William Fitzgerald, aka Fitch, is a world-class detective, which is why Tess Donogue turns to him after her father dies. Capt. Don Donogue was an eccentric genius, a technology legend, and Tess claims he was designing a Spirit Box that allows people to send messages after they die. She insists her father is only “deadish” because she’s getting messages from him saying his death wasn’t an accident. She throws money at Fitch, asking him to investigate. For Fitch, that means asking questions of everyone who seems too interested in the Spirit Box while fighting off a gang called the Tarantulas. When the Tarantulas kidnap Fitch’s husband in order to force him to turn over the box, nothing will stand in Fitch’s way. There’s nonstop action and humor in this over-the-top mockery of Silicon Valley and the pretense that innovation and technology are everything.
VERDICT Jewell is the pseudonym for a Pulitzer Prize–winning technology reporter who throws all his knowledge into a funny if sometimes confusing detective novel. Fitch fits the mold of every hard-bitten, world-weary detective who happens to be gay, with a loving six-foot-two husband at home.

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