Title: Cruel Numbers
Author: Christopher Beats
Format: E Galley
Length: 119 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 4 stars
This time, Donovan is looking for a girl named Bridget Cleary. Her family's had no word from her for months. Donovan's certain he'll find her belly-up, but it seems her talent for analytical machines has made her a valuable asset to the powers that be—an asset that they're determined to keep hidden and out of reach. In over his head, Donovan enlists his friend Verhalen to help. The eccentric inventor may be unstable, but his steam-powered gadgets give Donovan the edge.
Donovan's no stranger to the rougher edges of society, but when the usual threats turn to attacks on his life, it quickly becomes clear that someone very important does not want him to find Bridget Cleary... -Goodreads
This is a very well written steampunk mystery with very pronounced dystopian elements. Donovan is the steampunk Dick Tracy. He is a man who doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. It is that quality about him that leaves the reader wondering why the hell he is still on the case after things seem to resolve themselves mid book.
He also has a love hate relationship with his estranged wife that causes him to visualize her at during some of the more hairy moments during the read. This is one of the things that serve to either make the reader want to run screaming from the room, or to endear the reader to the brooding PI.
Once readers get past the really shallow reason that he chooses to risk marriage, life, and limb for what may or may not be a wild goose chase; readers find an action packed read full of twists and turns, money, and schemes that have to be read to be believed.