Toby Neal has been one of my favorite authors for several years now, since I read the first book of her Lei Crime series. At this point, I’ve read almost everything she’s written and she is one of the few authors whose books I preorder, no matter what.
I’ve had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Wired Fear, the 8th book in the Paradise Crime series. While the main investigation is a standalone, I do think this book is better after reading Wired Secret.
Sophie Ang has been one of my very favorite characters for several years, since making her debut in the Lei Crime series. In the Paradise Crime series, she is definitely shining. She is learning so much about herself and how to interact with people and it’s so endearing to read.Wired Fear takes place not terribly long after the events of Wired Secret. Sophie has moved on with Jake, and they are opening a branch of Security Solutions in Hilo. They are adjusting to many things – new homes, new office and staff, new locations, and new relationship dynamics.
There are a couple themes being explored in this book. One I won’t get into because spoilers. Another is a take on good vs evil – if someone does evil to bring about good in the long term, is that okay? And also if someone does good for evil reasons, what does that mean? Is life as clear cut as “good” vs “evil” or are things carried out in murky shades of gray? And now I’m feeling like the ever present vog was intentional, to represent the shades of gray coloring everything on the island…
Anyway, Sophie. Jake. Alika. Connor. Did you think the matter was settled? It seems to be, in the end. But there are big changes coming so who knows what will happen?
This book has a more introspective Sophie than ass-kicking Sophie, but that’s okay. She is not a machine designed to rule the computer world and fight. She is a human and still must come to terms with what that means. Jake does plenty to make up for it. And we see familiar faces and old enemies again. While one storyline is resolved, I am sure this is not nearly the end of another.