The Verifiers

Penguin Random House Audio. Feb. 2022. 11:46 hrs. ISBN 9780593554906. $22.50. M
Eunice Wong’s rollicking performance of Pek’s debut novel teleports listeners to the busy streets of New York City. That is where the charming protagonist, 20-something, Taiwanese American Claudia Lin, zips across the boroughs on her trusty bicycle and shadows people for Veracity, her employer. Veracity is a rather shady, referrals-only business that investigates the potential romantic partners its clients have met on dating sites to verify these “matches” have been truthful in their online dating profiles and real-life interactions. When her first big client ends up dead under suspicious circumstances, Claudia tries to channel her inner Inspector Yuan, the hero of her favorite mystery series set in Imperial China, which leads to often hilarious, sometimes dangerous, results. Pek’s clever and absorbing plot highlights the danger of the misuse of collected personal data, but it is Claudia and her dysfunctional immigrant family who steal the show. Wong absolutely nails her portrayals of the wonderfully idiosyncratic Claudia, her over-achieving brother Charles, fashionista sister Coraline, and their exasperating, constantly critical mother.
VERDICT Most listeners will be left hoping that Pek (a Singapore-born, New York City–based lawyer at a global investment company) is already at work on a sequel.
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