Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann


doublebackReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

It all started with little Molly Messenger’s kidnapping. Chris, Molly’s mother, is afraid to involve the police so her neighbor, Ellie Foreman, calls the one person she knows who can help. That is how former police officer turned PI, Georgia Davis becomes involved. From the very beginning, Georgia is uncomfortable with the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping. There are some obvious holes in the mother’s story, but Georgia can’t quite figure out what the mother is hiding-or why. In this action packed book, things happen fast. Molly is suddenly returned and both Chris and her boss at the bank have suspicious accidents. While investigating, Georgia uncovers some unusual bank transactions that lead back to Chris. These banking irregularities only create more questions about Chris and the kidnapping. Molly’s father hires Georgia to follow the money trail which quickly moves the action from Chicago to downstate Illinois and then from Wisconsin to the Mexican-Arizona border. What in the beginning appears to be a simple kidnapping ends up involving an international cartel of seriously bad people involved in several bad businesses.

A year ago, Hellmann introduced a new series with Georgia Davis, a secondary character from her Ellie Foreman books, as the protagonist in Easy Innocence. While Ellie made a few appearances, Easy Innocence was Georgia’s book. Now, with Doubleback, Georgia returns for her second case. But this time out, Hellmann has given her two protagonists nearly equal playtime. The blending of the characters creates a few jarring moments for readers. By far the hardest thing for the reader to get used to is the constant shifting point of view from Ellie’s first person to Georgia’s third person. This really leads to the second issue of who’s story it is to tell? Is this the second Georgia Davis book or not? Georgia carries most of the action, but the book’s first voice is that of Ellie.

By the end of the book, it seemed as though the two protagonists compliment each other. Hopefully they will return to work many more cases together



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