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ToxiCity

The Georgia Davis PI Series, Book 3
Series: Georgia Davis, Book 3
Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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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
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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ToxiCity

Big money and high crimes…that is the game here. How much would one need to pay to make something go away? What about to just look the other way? What type of organization would have all of the right people in their pocket? Hellmann has a lot of action and some adventure in this third installment. Georgia Davis teams up with Detective Sergeant John Stone and her boyfriend Matt in this gripping case.

Matt Sanger gets involved in a homicide case with the victim being a school teacher. Detective Sergeant Stone finds more bodies with the same motive and both are forced to team up in hopes of finding the connection. When leads disappear faster than they can track them down, Georgia lends her assistance when she detects that something isn’t quite right with the little neighborhood as well. People seem to be dying and the only thing that they can catch a break on is that it has to do with the daughter of a real estate hotshot who has her eyes dead set on Matt, especially when she becomes a the target. Striking quickly and with precision, Matt and Georgia have to find the missing pieces of this puzzle quickly or they may lose an innocent woman to this killer.

Hellmann has a great story, filled with heartbreak, secrets, and vendettas. The characters are well-developed, but the pace is very slow. This installment seems to focus more on the boyfriend more than it does Georgia, which is a bit odd. It was expected for the story to focus primarily on Georgia instead of Matt, but it appears that Georgia is the supporting cast in this story. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, Hellmann switches it up and has two narrators for this installment. Richmond and Shetterly have the male and female vocal differentiation covered, but since the pace is so slow…it seemed to drag a bit through scenes. If you are a readers of crime thrillers, suspense and mysteries, you may find this story entertaining to read. This is the third installment within the series; however, it is a back-story of the characters; therefore, it can be read as a standalone without losing any misinterpretation from previous installments.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a three-star rating to Toxicity by Libby Fischer Hellmann.

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Total Mind %&$#

Toxicity was a total mind ****! The past comes back to haunt the developer, architect, and others involved in a land development deal from the 70's in this suspenseful, intense story from Libby Fischer Hellmann. Toxicity is one of the most complex stories I have delved into in a while and I loved it.


Narrators Beth Richmond and Derek Shetterly do a fantastic job of bringing this one to life.

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It's really a prequel

Note: While this is labeled as Book #3 of the series, it really is set before Book #1 and can be read as a stand alone novel.

This is a clever serial killer mystery. The Feldman development site seems to be central to the story, but us readers know a little more than the detectives. The story has flashbacks to when houses were just going up on the Feldman site, showing us how families put their dreams into being home owners. At first the bodies don’t seem to be connected, but as Georgia and Detective Matt Singer dig into each one, similarities become apparent.

Singer and his partner Detective Sargent John Stone make a good team. But Matt has some personal issues. First, he’s in a relationship with Georgia, which is against department regulations. That double standard rears it’s ugly head and Georgia pays the price. Then he’s helping out a potential victim of the serial killer, Vicky Feldman (daughter of the Feldman who created the housing complex).

While I really enjoyed the plot, the characters fell a little flat for me. Matt is a wishwashy guy who can’t decide what he wants in a relationship. Georgia is drowning in self-pity and alcohol. Stone is interesting but we get so little of him. Ricky starts off as a capable business woman but later huffs off in anger, putting several people in danger.

The ending is full of suspense and action. The story revealed the motivations of the killer in such a way that I did sympathize with them in many ways. It was an excellent wrap up of the murder mystery. I did want a bit more from Georgia, showing us clearly how she went from being that drunken sorry sot to the competent PI we know and love. 4/5 stars

The Narration: Beth Richmond and Derek Shetterly tag team this book. I’ve gotten used to Richmond narrating the first 2 books solo, so I feel she could have pulled this entire book off. Again, I like her voice for Georgia. She also tackles several Jewish words with ease. Shetterly was OK. I often had trouble differentiating his voice for Stone and his voice for Singer, so I sometimes lost track of what each guy was doing. Over all, the pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Libby Fischer Hellmann. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Getting to Know Georgia Davis

Oftentimes, police procedurals are rather linear, taking the reader down a straightforward path from crime to solution, but that is definitely not the case with ToxiCity. Here, we have a tale full of complexity and a plethora of twists and turns leading to answers that are tinged with a bit of ambiguity. I couldn’t help having some sympathy and certainly a good deal of understanding for the killer even while deploring that person’s actions.

Adding to the ins and outs of the investigations is the look into Georgia Davis’s early days as a cop. Georgia is young but that can’t fully excuse some of the dumb things she does or her overwrought emotional reactions when things don’t go her way. On the other hand, we also get to see the beginnings of her investigative talent, her sharp intellect and keen desire to figure things out.

As narrators, Beth Richmond and Derek Shetterly do fine work and both have good pacing and clear voices with just the right emotional tones when needed. There is not a lot of distinction between characters but I found that didn’t get in the way of my enjoying the story.

Bottomline, this is a good entry in the series but I would encourage readers not to assume “prequel” means this should be read first because you could end up not liking Georgia. Much better to meet her in the two previous books when she’s matured a little 😉

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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.