Perfectly Invisible

Perfectly Invisible is a lot like watching an episode of CSI or Law & Order. The reader follows the journey of the good guys investigating a crime, shifting through the clues and witnesses, and putting all the pieces together to nail the bad guys. All the cop drama, wit, and twists you would expect to see are there. Yet there is a small twist that makes everything a bit more interesting.

At the heart of the story is HSS agent Miracle Dunn. She’s a veteran detective who has just moved up to an elite agency. This makes her the new kid on the block and part of the story is devoted to her integrating into the team. Her HSS team gets put on an investigation into a double murder that leads them on two chases. One is a cold case a dozen years old. The other is a tangled web of scorn lovers and revenge. Agent Dunn exercises her detective skills to work through the case. The story weaves through a dozen witnesses, a few breaks of action, and a small bit of storybuilding.

The storybuilding part of the book seriously caught my interest as a reader. Stackpole took a detective tale and placed it in a historical, alternate reality. In this universe, the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was successful. Much as the real life attack changed the world and the U.S., this one does the same but it’s taken a step further. The Patriot Act becomes the Patriot Amendment. Another terrorist attack in 1996 throws the alternate universe to the extreme. The present day is a conservative, big brother nation where Homeland Security Service agents have nearly unlimited authority to protect the nation. Abbreviated as HSS, and referred to by the populace as Hiss, Homeland Security Service agents are often called Snakes. This elaborate backdrop doesn’t really play a direct role in the story so much as it adds a unique flavor to it. Agents threaten suspects by saying they could “send them West” instead of the standard spiel about jail time. In this case being “sent West” implies being sent to one of the detention facilities in the western United States and their re-education programs.

In the end though, Perfectly Invisible is still a cop story. Miracle Dunn is the star, but it takes the efforts of her entire team to crack the case. Dunn is the investigator, Austin Brand is the information guru whose skills excel at weeding through the data for relevant info. Then there’s Thom Carrollton, a well mannered, well dressed agent who could be a perfect fit for a rich snob character. Yet he’s just as much a member of the team as anyone else, and his cool manner makes him perfect for handling delicate interviews or intense interrogations. Last but not least is Fyn. Fyn is the badass, don’t mess with me, ex-military agent who brings out the big guns. When there’s trouble, Fyn is the one the team can turn to and rely on to take care of business. All of the characters have memorable parts in the novel.

Overall it’s an enjoyable story and different from what I typically read (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and History). Yet like an episode of CSI, it’s not a blockbuster. Though if the last page is any clue, it’s certainly part of a bigger picture and I’m curious at what the next book in this universe may hold in store.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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