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Publisher's Summary

A prequel to Libby Fischer Hellman's Georgia Davis PI series.

There's an inventive killer at large in Chicago in this dark thriller and police procedural from best-selling crime writer Libby Fischer Hellmann.

When three bodies turn up in rapid succession, all in landfills or waste disposal dumpsters, rookie cop Georgia Davis is drawn into the investigation. Teaming up with her detective boyfriend Matt and his friend, Detective Sergeant John Stone, Georgia must work out who's responsible for the killings, but there's little evidence to go on. The case also tests the strength of Georgia's relationship with Matt - complicating the situation is the daughter of a real estate mogul, who also happens to have her eye on Matt.

Who's behind these gruesome killings in this normally quiet neighborhood? Why are children developing cancer? And will Georgia's relationship withstand the demands of this particularly complex investigation?

Find out in ToxiCity.

N.B. The audio issues cited in one of the reviews below have been corrected. Happy Listening, Libby Hellmann and Beth Richmond.

©2013 Libby Fischer Hellmann (P)2016 Libby Fischer Hellmann

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tight, Gritty Grip on All Kinds of Melee

Kellerman made this installment a total win. I jumped in midstream with this series and felt no need to backstroke. The third-person story stands convincingly upright all by itself, with multiple points of view and differing perspectives in time. Warning though, if you like tight writing with a nice blend of police procedural and office politics; complex interrelationships and complicated personalities; all kinds of social issues; and solid momentum and grit, you will be tempted to take in the entire series from book one.

In this installment, something rather profound happens. As the narrative cuts through wave after wave of plot entanglements and tension, our main character, Georgia, slowly squats into a critical back seat. The deeper Georgia slips into the backdrop, the more she becomes an intricate part of the story and the grittier the theme. With this move, Kellerman masterfully shifts realities and perspectives so that they spin around Georgia without her being the center of attention.

Kellerman juxtaposes a myriad of character arcs, fast-pace investigation activity, and controversy in a way that makes this ramped up semidocumentary noir detective story pump like a heartbeat with credibility, and suck-you-in interest, and she does so without cluttering it with the kind of "extra" that can make a story hard to keep up with. Best yet, Kellerman does not leave you with the aftertaste you get when someone has jammed their opinion down your throat. This telling wiggles in plenty of room for the opinions of readers/listeners to breathe comfortably on their own.

Narrator Beth Richmond and Derek Shetterly performed well, nailing both male and female characters. Audible should consider an option of rating narrators separately or adding a new category for editor. Shetterly repeated whole lines in multiple places (editing issues, I’m sure), and worse, at Chapter 51 (the Audible rubric reads “Chapter 53”) where Shetterly again repeats a line, there is a terrible, almost disgusting clearing of the throat that “clearly” is not a part of the storyline or the author’s intent.

I was gifted with this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Thanks AudioBook Boom!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this is a must listen/read book!!!

wow, great charecters, story is well developed. takes place in Chicago which is where I'm originally from. so I could relate to areas mentioned. starts with a murder and keeps u on the edge of ur seat from there. great narrative. makes u feel like ur right there. I will be reading others by this author. novel was given to me for a HONEST opinion.

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Another top-notch thriller!

ToxiCity is another top-notch entry into Libby Fischer Hellman’s library of police procedurals and thrillers. Even though it is the third book in the Georgia Davis PI mystery series, it is in fact a prequel to Easy Innocence and Doubleback. It takes place ten years earlier, back when Georgia was a rookie cop in the Chicago suburbs. It answers the questions, “What really happened with Matt?” and “Why did Georgia leave the police force and become a private investigator?” Georgia’s story is bittersweet. As the story opens she is young, determined, idealistic and tough, but maybe not tough up to stand up against all the Chicago crime and politics and Matt’s sudden interest in the Jewish daughter of a real estate mogul connected to the murders. We witness some of the pain she endured and it helps us to understand how she became the woman she is.

The story opens with a death, so right away you know what is happening, but not who is doing it. And it’s not easy to figure out who it could be. There are a lot of suspects for the murders and many reasons – money, power, greed, love, hate . . . . It’s a complex mystery. Children are sick and dying. Bodies are showing up in landfills and dumpsters. Even though people are doing very bad things, they didn’t always start out as very bad people. So many lives are touched and changed forever.

Libby Fischer Hellman has written another outstanding thriller. It’s fast-paced and keeps you guessing. She captures the look and feel of Chicago as perfectly as ever as well as the impact of current political and environmental issues. The look into Georgia’s struggles explains a lot and makes her a more real, complete character to us.

I received a copy of the ToxiCity audiobook from the author. I have both listened to and read Libby Fischer Hellman’s books and recommend either type of media. Although fast-paced and complex, the plot and characters are well developed and believable and make for an easy to follow, exciting story.

There are two narrators for the audiobook. I enjoyed the performance of the female narrator but the male narration took a little getting used to. Instead of the ‘voice of Chicago’ I grew up with, he sounded more like New York Gangster to me. However, as the story developed and I become more immersed in the action the style of narration faded into the background, and it’s unlikely those listeners who did not grow up in Chicago would notice it at all.

I highly recommend ToxiCity and anything else Libby Fischer Hellman writes.

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  • Bethany
  • PHOENIX, AZ, United States
  • 01-16-17

Captivating experience

I am sure I will listen to this again. I normally listen to single narrators so this was an adjustment for me with the duo...who both performed superbly and it made my adjustment period very brief.

The author did a great job weaving the plot twists, relationships, and the back story that created a horrific and sadly believable story. Treachery, tragedy, dreams, and devotion. Great combo.

I have already added the other audio books to my wish list.

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Great story, good execution

Libby Fischer Hellmann is a storyteller. Her books have the ability to get, and keep, the reader involved in the storyline. Toxicity is no different, except...the author is not really the one telling the story. There was something about Beth Richmond's narration which frequently seemed to try to drag my attention away from the story. I'm not sure whether it was style, rhythm, inability to pull off accents/other voices, or simply all of the above. I found the story itself intriguing, interesting for the current nature of issues facing Georgia, and appreciated finding more out about Georgia's backstory.

Overall, really enjoyed the story despite the narration and would recommend Hellmann's books (or audiobooks) to anyone who enjoys a good mystery

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Gritty crime novel

I was given this audio book for an unbiased review. Libby Fischer Hellman is a new author on my shelves after listening to TOXICITY.

I developed a love/hate relationship with the characters. Realistic crime scenes, murder, love - all the ingredients needed for a good read- and an unexpected twist that makes you take a deep breath and cringe.

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A Thrilling and Suspenseful Novel ..

Any additional comments?


This book was very interesting, fast paced, and kept me guessing at every turn.

The story line has it all: Crime, Suspense, with a side of Romance.

Georgia, the female lead, is a police officer and she is investigating a murder along with her boyfriend and detective, Matt .

The characters are well developed, the plot intriguing, and a killer that has a knack for evading the police.

I don't want to give too much away but this is definitely a Good Weekend Read.


Robin Rowan did well with the narration.

Note:
"This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."

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Organic justice?

Any additional comments?

I have mixed feelings about this audio book, sadly. As always with Ms.Hellman's stories, this was exciting, well written with rounded, three dimensional characters, the plot was good, the ending sensational and the back story very believable. But this is insufficient for audio _ so much also depends on the narration.
Toxicity has two narrators, one to tell the ongoing (present) story, the other to read the chapters relating to past events. A clever idea which could have been quite effective had the contrast in the two voices not been so extreme. The present narrative was performed by Derek Shetterly, whose performance was clear, paced perfectly and with distinctive and convincing conversational voices for the protagonists. He was a pleasure to hear. The alternate narrator, Beth Richmond, however, read much more slowly, and appeared even more sluggish when interspersed with Shettlerly's chapters. Turning up the speed to 1.5 for these sections helped a little but could not also eradicate the irritating cadences of her voice nor the strident quality of her voice. The unfortunate result was that I found myself mentally switching off during her reading sessions, thus missing possibly crucial elements of the story.
However, and despite the very occasional editting glitch (where a sentence is started, stops, then stars again, as in in chapter 42), Toxicity is still well worth the listen for the excellence of this thriller.
My thanks to the author for the gift of this book.

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Engaging

ToxiCity was an engaging mystery with twists and turns and surprises. I enjoyed the ride.

The performance was by two narrators. Beth Richmond performed the female points of view. Her performance was solid by I found it lacking something. Flavor or edge but still kept the story engaged.

Derek Shetterly's performance was with the male narrative and characters.

This was gift and I gave an unbiased review.

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action packed and intriguing

great plot with more twists and turns than a roller coaster.. expertly written with exquisite narratio.. A kick ass female Chicago police officer investigating a death of a young woman and uncovering a deep conspiracy of power and greed.. ending up getting suspended from the forse Georgia turns to private investigation .