Kroese gifts readers with his gripping second mystery set in 2039 Los Angeles (after 2016’s The Big Sheep), another sophisticated blend of science fiction and crime. A decade after a national economic trauma known simply as the Collapse, a large segment of the city, the Disincorporated Zone, remains beyond the reach of law and order. PI Blake Fowler’s ex-girlfriend Gwen Thorson went into hiding there after her colleagues on a planning task force disappeared or were murdered. Gwen has now returned to L.A. proper, a development that coincides with a new case for Blake and his eccentric partner, Erasmus Keane. Selah Fiore, an actress who attempted to kill the pair in the prior book, offers them a huge sum of money to track down an iota coin, a tangible representation of the virtual currency that gained wide acceptance after the Collapse. The plot twists are both logical and surprising, with developments and motivations straight out of classic L.A. noir. Every part of the book simply works. The compelling story, memorable leads, and imaginative worldbuilding suggest the series has a long and promising future.