This is a more or less recent novel by the Chilean novelist Isabel Allende, written in Spanish and translated into English. It feels like a departure from her other works, which I tend to understand as historical fiction or magical realism/serious fiction.
It’s a kind of murder mystery about serial killer stalking the streets of San Fransisco, and because she is a more famous and lauded novelist, there’s more to it than that. The title of the novel comes from an online group who play an amateur detective game together, each in a persona and character that suits their strengths and their interests. When a real murder piques their interest with its brutality and locality, the game becomes more than a virtual exercise.
The difference, as the novel suggests, between this book and a more straight forward genre novel is that the focus here is on character (I know I know) and the novel seems to wants to spends significantly more time looking into the lives of those interested in mysteries than into the mystery itself. Though it does become a pretty good mystery with a satisfying conclusion by the end of the novel.
I think it’s a little too limited in its focus, which is broad, and the mystery actually ends up being more interesting than the character building. It also ends up being a little bit of a waste of a good conceit, the game, that matters to the plot, but is not as satisfactorily explored as it could be.