Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Sunday Salon - The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Sunday Salon is the perfect place to introduce a debut novelist. Hilary Davidson is a travel journalist, and the author of eighteen nonfiction books, but The Damage Done is her first crime novel. She marks that debut with an emotional story of a lost woman searching for her missing sister.
Travel journalist Lily Moore had escaped to Barcelona because she could no longer cope with her sister, Claudia. Claudia was an emotional heroin junkie, who knew how to push every one of Lily's buttons, beginning with guilt. When she's called home to New York City, it's because Claudia's body has been found in the bathtub of Lily's apartment.
But when Lily goes to identify the body, she knows it's not Claudia. So, where is her sister? Who was the woman in the bathtub? Who were the women who had showed up at the apartment, identifying Claudia, while seeming to know so much about Lily's family history? Now, the police aren't looking for Claudia's murderer. They're searching for a missing person, and Claudia must know something about the dead woman.
Hilary Davidson's story reveals the complications of family relationships. Love, hate, guilt, resentment can all be combined in the feelings about family. And, Lily and Claudia share a history of family tragedy that united them, while it also drove them apart. How does Lily describe Claudia? "My sister, the magpie who had a thing for shiny jewelry, bad boyfriends, and hard drugs." And, Lily feels compelled to search for her sister, and answers, while at the same time, she feels used. "I was sure that my sister had deliberately lured me back into her web. I was trapped as surely as if her hands were still closing around my throat."
Lily is the daughter of an alcoholic, the sister of a junkie. Her best friend, Jesse, safe because he is a gay man, knows her better than anyone. "You want to protect your little sister. You've been doing that your whole life....You never tell anyone the full story. You'd rather keep it locked up." Lily doesn't trust her own heart, and very few people. That makes it difficult for her to accept help, even from the police. And, her anger, and fear, are buried deep.
Hilary Davidson's debut, The Damage Done, is a powerful crime novel, the story of a missing woman. But, it's so much more. It's the story of all the damage done in family relationships, including the damage done by addiction. Davidson's given us a profound story that shows the depth, the pain, and the collateral damage caused by addiction, problems that extend far beyond the person with the addiction.
The Damage Done introduces readers to a powerful new voice in crime fiction. Welcome, Hilary Davidson.