Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doubleback: A Novel of Suspense

Doubleback, the latest from Libby Fischer Hellmann (scheduled for an October 2009 release), is my first exposure to her work. Hellmann is the author of a series of suspense novels featuring video producer Ellie Foreman, and Doubleback is her second novel to feature Private Investigator Georgia Davis. Fans of the Ellie Foreman series will be pleased to learn that Ellie appears in Doubleback and helps PI Georgia Davis run down the bad guys. The relationship between these two very independent women is, in fact, so much fun to watch that I will be looking for Hellmann’s earlier books.

It all starts for Georgia when Ellie asks her to speak with the mother of a little girl who, only hours earlier, has been kidnapped. Despite Georgia’s advice that the police need to be called in immediately, the little girl’s mother, Chris, fears for the safety of her daughter and refuses to make the phone call. Three days later, when the little girl is released unharmed and appears at the front door of her house things begin to get strange.

Just a few days after the safe return of her daughter, the brakes on Chris’s car fail and she is involved in what the police, at least for the moment, are calling a traffic accident. Georgia, who at times seems to see herself as some kind of avenging angel, has continued to nose around on her own in hope of catching up with the villains who have so badly traumatized the little girl. Consequently, when the child’s father, fearing for the immediate safety of his daughter, agrees to hire Georgia to find those responsible for her kidnapping, she is more than ready to continue her efforts. The pieces finally begin to fall into place for Georgia when she learns that Chris may have embezzled $3 million from her bank employer in a scheme that started not long before her daughter was kidnapped.

Georgia is a fearless and dedicated investigator and, with major assistance from Ellie, she begins to make the wrong people very nervous. Her investigation will carry her from Chicago, where it all started, to Wisconsin, and on to an Arizona border town where the rules of the Old West still seem to be in play while illegal immigrants and drugs cross into the U.S.

By the time Doubleback reaches its exciting conclusion, Georgia is already battered, bruised and having to compensate for a broken arm. Considering the hornet’s nest she has stirred up, though, she is lucky to be alive. She knows that – but she is going to make someone pay, or she is going to die trying, maybe both.

Georgia Davis and Ellie Foreman make a winning team and readers of Doubleback will want to see the two work together again in future books. Author Hellman is in the enviable position of being able to continue with two individual series or to merge the two into a new one. Either way is fine with me because I am now a fan of both ladies.

Rated at: 4.0


  1. Sam, I'm a huge fan of Hellmann's work, too. I love her strong female characters and the grit of her plots. I also highly recommend EASY INNOCENCE if you enjoy DOUBLEBACK. I'll be posting my review of DOUBLEBACK a little closer to its release and also in CRIMESPREE magazine.

  2. Holy cow, I've got to get this! Here we are in Chicago and Wisconsin, visiting from our usual border town of Arizona. Is this book perfect or what?!!!

  3. I'll have to see if I can download a sample of this on my Kindle. Don't know this author but I admit to being guilty of rarely liking female writers of thrillers and suspense because they usually dwell on romance.

  4. Gaston Studio you should check out folks like Hellmann, Alafair Burke, Karin Slaughter...all great thriller writers who don't dwell on romance anymore than any male thriller writer does. As a matter of fact, I just finished a book by a male writer who focused so much on sex (it doesn't even merit the word romance) that I almost threw the book several times it was so repulsive. Had I not needed to read it, I wouldn't have finished it. You're missing out on MANY great writers if you exclude gender that way.

  5. Hey thanks Jen, for giving me some names I can try out. I don't just exclude female writers on gender alone but this has been my findings to date.

    Am currently rereading Karin Slaughter's novels and love them just as much as the first time.

    Will say tho, some of my favorite thrill writers are Michael Connelly, Jeffrey Deaver, Greg Iles, etc.

    Thanks again!

  6. I"m expecting to have a little surprise next week concerning this book, in particular, concerning its two main characters. Stay tuned, guys...

  7. Jen, you sound like a big Hellmann fan. I wish you had tipped me off earlier because I thought this one was really good. :-)

  8. Sounds like this one was written just for you, Rhapsody...sure hope your border town is nothing like the one in the book, though.

  9. Jane, this is definitely not a romance is a darn good thriller and you would be hard pressed to guess the sex of the author if you didn't know.

  10. Sam, I'm so glad I found your blog because I'm a fast reader and constantly looking for more authors that I can latch onto. Am going to give Hellman a shot!

  11. Thanks for that, Jane. I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I did in this one.


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