Monday, October 26, 2009

Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann

It started with just a stuck elevator, and a missing little girl. But, if the little girl hadn't mysteriously returned, and a woman hadn't been traumatized by the elevator problem, Georgia Davis might never have become involved in a complicated case that took her from Chicago to Wisconsin, and then to Arizona. Libby Fischer Hellmann's Doubleback is a troubling case for her PI, and her friend, Ellie Foreman.

In fact, it's Ellie, a video producer who calls Georgia Davis, a former police officer turned PI, when Christina Messenger's daughter is kidnapped. Ellie likes Christina, but Georgia doesn't trust her. And, when the little girl shows up, Georgia thinks something is really strange. But, Georgia agrees to investigate when Christina calls again, if only for the sake of that little girl, Molly. And, that's when everything starts to fall apart.

Christina works in IT at a bank, and suspects something is strange when her boss dies in a car "accident." She only has time to tell Georgia that she made a mistake before she herself dies as well. Christina's ex-husband offers Davis the case, since he's afraid his ex-wife may have been over her head, and Molly still might be in danger. Georgia, whose mother walked out on her when she was young, is drawn to vulnerable kids, especially girls, so she agrees to take a case that will lead her into danger.

Davis' case leads from the bank to Delton Security, a company similar to Blackwater, and then to Arizona. It's a story of mercenaries, greed, illegal aliens, drugs, and drug cartels, so, of course it involves an Arizona border town. Georgia flew into Tucson, driving past Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas, on her way to the border. And, a reporter gives her a warning that sums up the entire book. "Despite the appearance of civilization, this is still the Wild West. People like to take the law into their own hands." It's the story of Georgia Davis' entire investigation, a complex story that will keep the reader guessing until the end. It's the story of people who take the law into their own hands, whether it's in Chicago, Wisconsin, or Arizona. And, readers will discover it's the story of Georgia Davis, a complex woman, who is out on her own, in a frightening story, in Doubleback.

Libby Fischer Hellmann's website is

Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann. Bleak House, ©2009. ISBN 9781606480526 (hardcover), 344p.

***FTC Full Disclosure - My copy of Doubleback was a review copy, sent to me by the author, after Libby agreed to appear at the library as part of the Authors @ The Teague series.


caryn said...

Hi Lesa,
I loved the first Georgia book Easy Innocence, but I had problems with this one. Part of it was that she told the story in the first person from Ellie Foreman's POV and Georgia's part was in the third person. That sort of muddied the waters for me. Is it a Georgia book or an Ellie book? In the end I liked it okay, but I hope in future books she has one or the other woman clearly be the main character.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I like the way that fate plays a role in kicking off the story (the elevator and missing child.) Bleak House puts out some unusual stuff... I'll have to look for this one.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

It was a confusing book at times, Caryn. I agree. This seemed to be a Georgia book much more than an Ellie book, but I can see the problems.

Lesa said...

Bleak House does do unusual stuff, Elizabeth. You're right. Georgia wouldn't have solved the case without the elevator incident. And, she never would have been involved without Molly.

♥Jen♥ said...

Hey Lesa, this was one of my favorite books of the summer! I love Libby's style and I actually found the shift in POV to be an assett to the book...of course, I enjoy writers who challenge the "rules" - like Robert Crais who utilizes a similar shifting POV style. Libby's gritty and exciting and creative. And the book really isn't supposed to be a Georgia OR a Ellie book, it's supposed to be a joint effort. I think the juxtaposition of the characters was essential not only to their development but also to the plot development.

Well, I guess you can tell I really like Libby's work. Have a wonderful time with her on Wednesday and give her a hug for me!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Jen! I hadn't read any of Libby's work before this one, so you were the perfect person to comment. I appreciate it.