by Matt Doyle


Rated 4.40 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Available in Print from most major retailers.

Book Info

Author: Matt Doyle

Series: The Cassie Tam Files

Release Date: May 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947139-03-9

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Literary/Genre Fiction

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Word Count: 56000*

Pages: 149

Sex Content: N/A

Orientation: Lesbian

Identity: Cisgender



Matt Doyle © 2017
All Rights Reserved


I always did like Venetian blinds. There’s something quaint about them in a retro-tacky kinda way. Plus, they’re pretty useful for sneaking a peek out the front of the building if I feel the need. That’s something that you just can’t do with the solid, immovable metal slats that come as a standard in buildings these days. That said, a thick sheet of steel is gonna offer you a damn sight more security than thin, bendable vinyl, so I keep mine installed. Just in case.

Another round of knocking rattles the front door, louder this time than the one that woke me.

The clock says 23:47, and the unfamiliar low-end car out front screams “Don’t notice me, I’m not worth your time,” which makes for the perfect combo to stir up the paranoia that the evening’s beer and horror-film session left behind. This is my own fault. My adverts are pretty descriptive in terms of telling what I do: lost pets, cheating partners, theft, protection, retrieval of people and items, other odds and sods that the city’s finest won’t touch…I’ve got ways to deal with it all. That’s right, I’m a real odd-job gal. The one thing that I don’t put in there are business hours. The way I see it, even the missing pet cases usually leave me wandering the streets at half-past reasonable, so what’s the point in asking people to call between certain hours?

More knocking, followed this time by the squeak of my letter box and a voice. “Hello? Cassandra Tam?”

It’s funny, really. For all the tech advances that the world has made, no one has been able to improve upon the simple open-and-shut letter box. I stumble my way through the dark and wave dismissively at the frosted glass. The light switch and the keypad for the door lock are conveniently placed right next to each other on the wall to the right of the door, so welcoming my apparent guest is a nice, easy affair. The lock clicks a moment after the lights flood the room, and I pull the door open.

“Cassie,” I say, turning and skulking my way back into the room. “Or Caz. Drop the Tam.”

I hear a sniff behind me, and the lady from the letter box asks, “Are you drunk?”

“If I pass out in the next five minutes, then yes,” I reply, turning the kettle on. I’d left it full, ready for the morning, but I guess this is close enough. “Take a seat at the table. Would you prefer tea or coffee? I’d offer beer, but since I reek of it, I guess I must’ve finished it.”

Footsteps creep unapologetically across the room, and a chair squeaks on the floor. Good. If you can’t deal with a snarky response to something, don’t say it all, and if you can deal with it, then as far as I’m concerned you don’t need to apologise.

“Coffee,” the lady says. “So, do you always see potential clients in your underwear, or is it just my lucky day?” Her voice has a slightly playful edge to it, but with a sarcastic kick to round it off.

The business portion of my apartment comprises entirely of a small open-plan room separating my kitchen from my living room. And by open plan, I mean an allotted space that encroaches on both territories but is conveniently large enough to house what I need. Or, in other words, a table, four chairs, and nothing else. Since filing went near entirely digital, filing cabinets have pretty much become obsolete, so the two that I found dumped outside the building when I bought the place currently live in my bedroom, and contain a mix of quick access work stuff and personal files I’d rather not have floating on the net. Most things, though, I store electronically, the same as everything else.

I rarely use the business table to eat, read, or any of that junk, so until this evening it’s been entirely empty for a good few weeks. The lady sitting there now is studying me, I can see, and probably wondering if this was a mistake. Whatever she may have expected, a Chinese-Canadian gal of average height in a cami top and a loose pair of sleep shorts most likely wasn’t it. For what it’s worth, though, I’m studying her just the same. She’s a lithe-looking thing, dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a plain black fitted top under a leather jacket. If the metal plugs running down her shaven head like a shiny, rubber-tipped Mohawk weren’t a giveaway for what she is, the light scarring punctuating the outer edges of her pale blue eyes certainly would be. She’s a Tech Shifter, and like most of her ilk, she looks like a punk rocker gone cyborg.

5 reviews for Addict

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Diverse Reader

    One thing I love in any book is a strong female character. The MC of Addict, Cassie, is just that. She’s tough, badass, and exactly how I like my women!

    This story takes place in the future, in a place called New Hopeland. That, to me, is such a funny name for it because it doesn’t feel very hopeful at all. In the future, there’s new technology and old. What I found so fantastic was the fact that technology has become such a huge problem. Nowadays we see the small effects of it. Your power goes out and you can’t get online and people freak out. I see status updates after they return saying, “Worst 3 minutes of my life.” Well, in Addict the author sort of makes that freak out evolve a bit.

    Technology has taken on a new form but no less addictive.And you can all agree that this is most likely where our world is heading.

    I did love the whole cyber punk thing. Adored Cassie as I said. The mystery was just okay for me. I’m very picky in the mystery department though. The world building was truly amazing. Great flow to the story and I can easily see this series being successful. Lori, Cassie’s love interst, was terrific and added a wonderful element to this story. The two of them together had the chemistry level off the charts.

    This was a first Matt Doyle read for me and it’s perfect for the techy noir fans out there. It won’t be the last book I read from this author

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Lauren

    Matt Doyle has created a world, in which, technological advances are more a part of everyday use than they are today. His future thoughts on technology are not so far-fetched, as most of what’s written about already exist in some shape or form. 

    In New Hopeland, where the novel takes place, there are Virtual Reality addicts, where drug addicts quite literally live in a different dimension when getting high and there are Tech Shifters, who are people who decide they’d be better suited to live a life as an animal. While they don’t live this life 24 hours a day, it still is a way that they identify. These are just some of the advances. 

    We’re introduced to Cassie Tam, who is a private investigator. She’s known for taking cases that the local police department writes off, and even some that they’ve “investigated” but maybe not to the furthest potential, enter storyline here.

    Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter who by day is a human woman and in her downtime, she shifts into a panther. Her brother, on the other hand, is considered a Virtual Reality Addict, who has been found dead at the beginning of the book. However, Lori doesn’t believe that her brother overdosed like the police department claims. So she hires Cassie to help her investigate further.

    It’s a fascinating concept, with the development of this world as its base, and then creating this complex storyline on top. As humans, we often stereotype, so of course, when we hear that a drug addict has been found dead, it’s almost always written off as an overdose or suicide. 

    Matt Doyle brings you along for the ride of the corrupt world that they live in–but also, far too similar to the corruption happening today. He has you questioning your own stereotypes, debating who you’d be in this world, and on the fence about how you really believe that Lori’s brother died. You’re introduced to relationships that Cassie has in order to do her job well, but the trust and loyalty she has to those who should easily be locked up, but without them, other crimes wouldn’t be able to be solved. Corruption is a tangled web, my friend.

    There’s more to this story than just the investigation as we learn about relationships between siblings, parents, and lovers. Do you really know your sibling? Parent? Lover? Friend? What could they truly be hiding from you? Do they genuinely believe in you?

    With an unexpected twist that has you placing together each and every puzzle piece, you’re brought through to a full circle. As the first in the series, I’m interested to see where else Matt Doyle leads Cassie Tam, and how her story continues unfolds. You won’t want to miss out!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Langham (verified owner)

    ​RATING: 4.5 stars

    When I was studying English Extension as a Year 12 student, we spent the year focused on a genre study of crime fiction. One of our set texts was Marele Day’s The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender, a gritty urban crime fiction written in a very traditional style, but with a unique (for the time) female protagonist. The reason I bring this up, is that I couldn’t help thinking about that book quite a lot whilst I was reading ADDICT. You need to ignore the GoodReads ratings of Day’s book, because it’s been skewed heavily by resentful teenagers who were tired of the book after studying it. It’s dated now (over 30 years later), but Harry Lavender infused pre-WWII crime fiction conventions with fresh, contemporary elements of gender, as well as a real sense of place, with the city of Sydney treated as a character in its own right.

    Matt Doyle’s ADDICT, though a rather different beast from Harry Lavender, is intelligent and fresh in much the same way Day’s book was in the late 80s. A crime is committed and, of course, as time goes on, our detective is led through a series of twists and turns to finally lead her to a thrilling conclusion, where all the puzzle pieces fall into place – a satisfying conclusion is provided, as you’d expect from a detective story.

    Set in the near future, Addict combines the engrossing, tenebrous elements of 1930s noir crime fiction with the spectacle and possibility of science fiction. Cassie Tam is, in many ways, a traditional sleuth protagonist, right down to the glock, the dingy apartment, and the social isolation. But Cassie also has a metallic gargoyle as her security guard, and has to delve into the nefarious world of technology addiction as a means to solve the case at the heart of the story. Her client also happens to be a Tech Shifter, someone who uses specially designed machinery to transform into an animal as a form of escapism. Cool, right?

    The characters are engaging and memorable, slowly building relationships and inviting us into their psyches. Given this is the first story of a series, the characterisation has been handled well. There’s a sweet romance developing by the end of the book, but it hasn’t been explored so much as to make subsequent books almost pointless, Doyle has left space to move with the romance — a wise move, I think!

    Setting and atmosphere are amongst the strongest elements of ADDICT. By the end of the novel, I felt connected to the city of New Hopeland. I understood its history, its evolution, and its almost fetishist underbelly, where even crime is driven by zealotry. I’d have no reservations recommending this book!

  4. Rated 4 out of 5


    The book is futurist but not to the point where it confusing. It has very many similarities to nowadays but also has its own taste and style. (No I didn’t try and lick my kindle). I really liked that about the book that it was similar but had new elements to it. The information dumps didn’t feel like dumps, they felt right and helped explain what was needed.

    The relationships didn’t feel forced or awkward or run the story. The story of solving the case was the forerunner, the other side was just extra layers. I just really liked how it played out, it had its twists, it wasn’t straightforward you know who the bad guy was. You had to work at it alongside with the main character, which is what makes a great crime story.

    The world building was really great too, there were plenty of hints and snippets of how big it truly is. But the Author didn’t go into too much detail, he only went into detail of what was needed as to not confuse the story too much. The detail on what was gone into was great, left you feeling like you wanted to know more.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nicole Diskin

    I received this book as an ARC thanks to Net Galley and Nine Star Press!
    Addict was a Wonderful start to what I can tell is going to be a fun action-packed series!
    Cassie Tam is a PI with a past and Lori is a beautiful intriguing client with a story of her own. I got definite Anita Blake vibes and although I thought that Cassie could have been a little more badass I understand this is the start of a series and can’t wait to see what Matt Doyle has in store!
    there was plenty of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and although this did not have as much character or relationship development as I may have liked it kept me reading and hanging on for the next book to see what becomes of Cassie and Lori!

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