New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.


Genres: Sci-Fi, Mystery, LGBTQ

Author: Matt Doyle

ebook, 163 pages

Published May 8th 2017 by NineStar Press



My Review



A science-fiction mystery novella set in the near future where the addiction to virtual reality has become normal and tech-shifting is the way to pass the time and indulge into a little escapism.

Cassie Tam is a PI for hire and knows her ways around New Hopeland and its corrupt systems. During a slow spell, she is approached by Lori to investigate the death of her brother who is said to have died on an overdose. The police quickly call the case as another suicide by a VR junkie and therefore wrap it up like an open/close case. But Lori has her suspicions and can’t believe this is  what her brother really did. 

Lori is a Tech-shifter and after looking into the case initially Cassie meets her in the local scene to report to her what her initial findings were. This takes Tams and the reader into the undergrounds of Tech-shifters, where one can use a metal exoskeleton custom made to fuse with its wearer and role-play as anything one can think of. 

Cassie quickly is attracted to Lori as she is a changed and an alluring animal when she uses her tech-suit. But professionalism comes before romance and together they actually make a great team as the case takes them deep into the wolf’s mouth. Just barely escaping with the answers they need, Cassie has the wit to play some high rollers in ingenious ways. The question is, will she crack the case? What will happen to the two of them romantically? 


This was a great little novella. Albeit there was a short rocky moment after the initial beginning for me, I thought it was really well written throughout and thoroughly entertaining. The PI work that Cassie did reminds me of old fashioned detective work choreographed into a futuristic setting with ingenious twists. 

This was the first novel in ‘The Cassie Tam Files’ and I’d like to thank the author for providing me with a digital copy in exchange of an honest review. 
Thank you.