"Money can't buy happiness but it sure is a start"
I am a relative newcomer to the work of Libby Fischer Hellman so was delighted to be offered an audio copy of her book, Double back to review. And it ..Show More »was a delight. A private investigator is disturbed by the abduction of a little girl who is then returned without any apparent ransome demand. Then the child's mother is murdered. What first appears to be a local financial crime spirals in size to encompass far more ; and as the body count rises, Georgie, the P.I., and her friend Elly Foreman, have to face up to the question, "What happens if the defenders turn out to be the bad guys?"
The story line is fast paced and travels in directions quite unexpected, the characterisations are mostly well formed and realistic, and the whole is entertaining and easy on the reader/listener. The narrator. so important in an audio book, has a pleasant voice, nicely modulated and reads well without annoying ideosyncracies or unexpected pauses. Recommended for anyone interested in a light but complex mystery thriller.
Although "Nobody's Child" brings us the fourth episode in Ms Hellmann's Georgia Davis series, and although it does refer back to events that took plac..Show More »e in some of the previous installments, this novel stands alone well: You can enjoy it even if you have not already listened to its series predecessors (but it will make you want to do so!). You will like the character of Georgia Davis: She feels like a real person -- albeit exceptionally smart, but sill real -- because Ms Hellmann really knows how to develop character ... and write, and plot! The word "gritty" always comes to my mind when I listen to Ms Hellmann's Chicago-based novels -- Yikes! Talk about a "seamy underbelly"! -- and "Nobody's Child" digs right down into the grit. I want to hope that Ms Hellmann is exaggerating a bit -- or even just making it all up out of whole cloth -- when she describes the dreadful criminal enterprise at the heart of "Nobody's Child." I want to believe that people would never sink to such abominations in order to satisfy their greed; but I know that Ms Hellmann always does her research, and that she is probably exposing a true horror that none of us wants to see. Of course, Georgia Davis manages to penetrate the web of deception and cruelty spun by these wicked people (in this case, Russian mobsters), and to do so very cleverly: by setting mobster against mobster. (Take that, you wicked people!) In the process, she escapes death by the skin of her teeth; and emerges from her adventure with a new sister and a new boyfriend. (Whew!) Unfortunately, I have to say that "Nobody's Child" deserved a better narrator. Although Beth Richmond has an undeniably beautiful voice, I would have preferred a narrator with better acting skills ... even if she did not have such a pretty voice. In particular, this novel requires good Russian accents and better vocal distinction between characters. Aside from this one criticism (and I admit to a fussy predilection for good acting), I recommend "Nobody's Child" to any lover of gritty detective fiction.