From Anthony Award-winning writer Alex Segura comes Secret Identity, a rollicking literary mystery set in the world of comic books.
It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.
That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph's first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.
Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel--hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.
Set in 1975, this outstanding novel from Anthony Award winner Segura (the Pete Fernandez series) stars Carmen Valdez, an obsessive comic book fan since her childhood in Miami, Fla., who now lives in New York City and works on the periphery of her dream as an assistant at Triumph Comics, an afterthought in the then flailing comics industry dominated by Marvel and DC. When Triumph junior editor Harvey Stern approaches the creatively gifted Carmen to help him pitch a new series, it's the opportunity to finally see one of her ideas come to life. Carmen agrees to Harvey's request that she ghostwrite until he can leverage her involvement. They create the company's first female superhero, the Lethal Lynx, who's an immediate hit, though Harvey's erratic behavior and the sudden arrival of an old flame from Miami complicate matters. When Harvey is murdered before he publicly acknowledges Carmen's role, she's forced to look for answers as she seeks to prevent someone else from transforming the Lethal Lynx into something soulless. Carmen navigates the shifting loyalties within the industry with aplomb. Segura's infectious passion for superheroes shines in this page-turning mix of murder mystery and coming-of-age story. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary.