I read the first installment of this series last year and loved it! “The Janes” by Lousia Luna is the gritty follow-up to the series debut “Two Girls Down” in which readers were introduced to enigmatic bounty hunter Alex Vega and her eventual partner, disgraced cop Max Caplan. It is not essential that you read “Two Girls Down” before you read “The Janes”. There is no carryover information that you need to have to understand this story, but you might have a little more insight into the main characters’ mindset in certain situations if you know the backstory of their first case. Also, it would be a chance to enjoy another good mystery!
Two unidentified young women’s bodies are found on the outskirts of San Diego. The local police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, to discover the identities of the Janes (short for Jane Doe). Forensic science quickly points Alice and Cap toward the theory that the Janes were part of a sex-trafficking ring and perhaps more. It becomes apparent that there are more girls, connected to the Janes, hidden somewhere in the area that urgently need to be found. More importantly, it is also clear that some dangerous and powerful people want Vega and Caplan off the case and that there is much more to the Janes’ case than what was initially revealed. Just when Vega and Cap think they have found the person responsible for the deaths of the Janes, they are told under no uncertain terms to stand down and go home. Knowing what is at stake for the still missing girls, they plunge ahead, more determined then ever to get some justice for the Janes and locate the other girls before it is too late. As the case evolves, the odds continue to stack up against the pair ever solving the case or even surviving it, which increases the tension and catapults the book to it’s conclusion.
“The Janes” is an adrenaline powered, well-plotted mystery/thriller driven by a strong female character where nothing is as straight forward as it seems and conspiracies abound. It deals with the tough current border issues of human trafficking and drugs. If you enjoy Robert Crais or Michael Connelly’s new detective Renee Ballard you will enjoy this book. If you enjoyed Alice Vega’s modus operandi in “The Janes”, I would also highly recommend Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield series (1995-2015).