The Verifiers by Jane Pek

“If this were a novel, he might simply be a poorly written character. But there are no poorly written people. Only ones you don’t yet understand.”
― Jane Pek, The Verifiers

Jane Pek’s debut novel, The Verifiers, follows the life of Claudia Lin, the youngest of three siblings whose Chinese mother wants her to marry a nice Chinese boy already. Her older brother has a high paying job and can’t understand why Claudia doesn’t simply get a job like he has. Her older sister dislikes Claudia as their mother always treats Claudia like the privileged perfect child. While dealing with everyone’s expectations, Claudia finds herself keeping secrets that would shock them. First of all, Claudia prefers girls over boys. Second, Claudia has a job, but she can’t talk about it as it would be unsuitable for what her family thinks she should be doing.

Claudia works at Veracity, a detective agency that operates out of a Manhattan townhouse. This business is rather unconventional. Veracity is hired by their clients to verify people’s online dating personas. Claudia spends her days chasing down liars and cheaters. As a lifelong reader of mystery novels, she sometimes finds herself carried away by the backstories she invents in her head. When one of Claudia’s clients winds up dead, she is told to drop the case. Dead client means no more verifying on her behalf. Claudia can’t let it go. She breaks Veracity’s protocols and decides to investigate what really happened. She doesn’t believe the story she was told, but the more she digs, the more she discovers just how big the web of lies extends. Her client, the circumstances surrounding her death, the myriad dating platforms, her coworkers, and even her own family aren’t being honest with her. Claudia decides to tear down the truths she has been told in order to figure out what she should believe.

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