The Last Girl


Dexter Vega is running low on cash, and even lower on job prospects. Recently let go from his job as a journalist, he spends his time drinking at the local dive bar. After he saves fellow patron Nick Zavala from a drunken brawl, Nick asks for his help locating his missing daughter Maya. Not in any position to turn down a paying gig, Dexter accepts Nick's offer. When he attempts to see Nick and discuss the case, he finds Nick's home surrounded by homicide detectives. With Nick now dead and Dexter's prints all over the murder weapon, he has no choice but to find Maya and try to clear his name. Dexter knows that Maya’s disappearance is at the center of a much larger puzzle and Nick's death is the key to unlock this mystery.

“The Last Girl" is the well-written debut of newcomer Danny Lopez. Dexter Vega is a fully fleshed-out character, complicated and not easily understood. The author's transparency regarding Dexter's shortcomings gives one the opportunity to connect with him. While his sarcasm and dry wit might make Dexter endearing, some readers will be left scratching their heads over his actions. Aside from antagonizing the police at every turn, he breaks into someone's home the day after being released from jail. Even though the pacing is exceedingly slow at times, the prose is lovely and the descriptions of the surroundings are wonderful, if overlong. All in all, this tale has an unhurried and relaxed feel that readers will enjoy. 

Chantel Hardge