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