Goodreads: The Private Eye
Series: Private Eye #1-10
Years ago the cloud burst, releasing everyone’s Internet searches to the world. Now they take on various identities, using codenames, masks, and disguises, to hide their secrets. But when an illegal P.I. gets caught up in a murder case, he may find that privacy is even more of an illusion than he thought.
Okay, yes. The premise of this series can seem a little cheesy. Does anyone even care about their privacy on the Internet anymore? Most people share every detail of their lives willingly! A story about how this is dangerous can sometimes feel like it’s trying just a little too hard to be relevant and to speak to modern times. Let’s talk about what the kids know, right? Still, if you can get past the premise, The Private Eye is an engaging read, one full of suspense and mystery.
I love a rogue investigator as much as the next person, that mysterious figure who can find the truth when the official channels fail. There’s something about the loneliness of the job that makes you want to cheer for them. In that respect, The Private Eye captured me from the start. Who is the mysterious P.I.? Does he really only care about money? Will he take his hardest case yet, for the thrill of the challenge?
The mystery surrounding the hero is the story’s most enticing point. The world, full of men and women who don disguises to hide, say, their intellectual interests from their parents or their penchant for a fun night out from their boss, is interesting enough. It’s all very sci-fi in the best way. And the secondary characters are truly engaging and sympathetic, especially P.I.’s grandfather, who remembers the days of the Internet and finds P.I.’s horror of it quite amusing. However, P.I. lies at the center of the story and he needs to be compelling for it to work–because eventually the plot falls apart.
The ending feels rushed, the stakes don’t feel that high, and it’s certainly unclear whether we ought to be fearing the villain as much as P.I. does. Certainly the villain is bad–he’s a murderer. But is his plot so diabolical? Are we going to side with P.I., are we going to feel the danger and the suspense that he is, when we don’t buy into P.I.’s worldview? Perhaps only if we buy into P.I. as a character.
Ultimately, The Private Eye is an entertaining read, one sure to appeal to graphic novel fans and sci-fi fans. The premise is, if nothing else, thought-provoking–assuming you allow your thoughts to be provoked, since the book itself seldom delves into the questions it raises. And the characters are the best part.