The Last Girl: Danny Lopez
Money is at the root of what causes Dexter Vega to take on a job to find a young girl whose father claims is missing. Once a professional journalist but fired he’s in bar when this older man approaches him with a deal that he feels he cannot turn down. This older man seemed to be in trouble as some young man was roughing him up. He assaulted him in the bar and Dexter tries to break it up when they take the older man into the parking lot and want to end his life. Trying to break it up the owner of the bar comes out holding a baseball bat and the attack stops. Taking the man home because he appeared injured and out of sorts he finds himself in an expensive and luxurious home on the bay. The man’s name is Nick Zavala and he claims that his daughter Maya is missing. Learning about this man he is quite wealthy and made his money selling sex accessories in his own retail business. Nick hires Dexter to find his daughter and money is no object. Ten thousand dollars is all that he needed to do to convince Dexter to take on the job, go to Mexico where she was supposedly on a team with others to find a rare and special salamander called axolotl, which to the people in this country was very special. This salamander is thought to be extinct and finding her would bring him more money. But, after spending time there and speaking to her professor Tabor he realizes that there is much more that he has to learn and returns to Nick’s house and comes face to face with the police. Nicks’ prints are on the murder weapon and he is now considered the major suspect in the murder. Nick is gone do why does Dexter continue to want to find Maya and what good would it do but there is much more that has yet to be revealed as speaking with her professor he gets one take on Maya but speaking to someone else will reveal something about Nick that will do more than anger Dexter and change his whole perspective on the case. Drinking, wanting to sleep with Holly someone he considers some type of girlfriend, meeting Flora and another young girl named Tiffany all seeming to have a stake in the outcome of this case but one question hangs over his head: WHO GETS THE ESTATE? Maya is suppose to be attending New College but Nick claimed he had not heard from her in months yet he was sending her money. Added in he did not want the police called in because she was considered an adult but Dexter investigates and learns that she is in Mexico, does not want to be found and has been running away from Nick who was not her father but a man who gave her a home, clothes, paid for her education in return for sexual favors that were part of her payment to him for all that he was doing for her. But, so many girls lived with him and did the same, some willingly and others like Maya not, but he was obsessed with her and if Dexter gave him the information about where she was who knows what the final outcome would have been. But, although he finds this information out the police are after him and when he breaks into the house of someone close to the situation he is arrested and brought in again. The police are brutal and really injure him and thinking they are going to get him some help the second time some thugs beat him, he’s wrong. Returning home after one of his trips he finds his computer gone, house ransacked, blackmailed and hunted by not only the cops but also several others who want the money; want his neck on the line for Nick’s murder.
Hoping to write and article for the paper and avoiding jail time might not be that easy for Dexter as he tries to put the pieces together. Questioning someone named Flora that he becomes involved with and meeting Maya getting the whole story about Nick being a pedophile praying on young girls for his own pleasure, the reader along with Dexter is angered about the fact that he was duped.
While he’s searching for answers he comes across a man named Michael Boseman who has teamed up with Holly in order to gain control of the money in Nick’s estate but Holly has her own agenda in mind. Just who else wants a piece of this and what is the connection to BRAVO a charitable organization run by a man named del Pino who claims to give money to many charities but when Dexter delves more into his organization he learns that he is in charge of Nick’s estate and that Maya gets 2 million dollars so far. But, who killed Nick? Holly went after Dexter to find Maya and not for any good purpose. Dumping one guy for another made Dexter realize that he was just another pawn in her game to get rich. Not caring about him and using him he begins to reflect on how he feels about Flora but will his next stop be Mexico again? All the while he’s missing his daughter Zoe and yet not finding any real time to talk with her or see her. Would that ever change?
With Frey and Perillo the detectives after him and one of them coming clean with what they found and the fact that he did not think he was guilty, would the DA manufacture charges against him just to close the case? Where is Maya? What did he miss about Holly who claimed to help the poor and was a good lawyer? When the pieces fall into place will Dexter come out a free man or will the falsified evidence speak for what others would say for itself? Author Danny Lopez spins and creates an intricate web of lies, betrayals, deceits within this novel that focuses on greed, power, control, abuse, sex slaves and disloyalties. Dexter thinks he can trust everyone but soon realizes that he cannot. Rachel who worked with him at the paper is the only one who is willing to help prove his innocence and run the extra mile to help him find out what he needs to know. But, who really killed Nick? Will the killer be brought to justice? Is this the end of the road for Dexter? What happens when all the girls that Nick used are placed but one girl seems to have escaped? Tiffany knows more than she is willing to say and when Dexter sees her at the airport and overhears what she says to an older man just who he is really and what is she doing for him? Toni who helps him to a point and wants to make sure he does not get hurt, Tiffany who wants to remain in the life Nick taught her so well, Brian his lawyer who gets him out of jail each time he’s arrested and the one who got away: THE LAST GIRL.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/mj magazine