Title: High Crimes (The Georgia Davis PI Series #5) by Libby Fischer Hellman
Genre: Mystery, Thriller and Suspense, Political, Conspiracy, Spies & Politics
Publisher: The Red Herrings Press
Publication Date: To be released November 10, 2018
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: High Crimes – Super cover equals 1,000 Words
How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects?
That’s the task facing Chicago PI Georgia Davis, hired to hunt down those ultimately responsible for the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election. The gunman, on a nearby hotel rooftop, dies within minutes of the shooting. As Georgia sifts through Dena’s 42,000 Facebook followers, she discovers that unknown enemies hiding behind fake profiles have infiltrated the group. She finds others who will do whatever it takes—including murder—to shield right-wing, wealthy elites. When Georgia begins piecing together the facts, relatives of both victims mysteriously disappear, and the danger escalates. Threats and bruises have never frightened Georgia, but she’s side-swiped by the sudden reappearance of the mother who abandoned her when she was a child. Can she survive an emotional family crisis at the same time she pursues killers whose only goal is to protect themselves? (Click to view Ms. Hellmann’s book trailer on Goodreads.)
Talk about riveting high-profile fiction ripped from today’s topical headlines! This story will hit you in the gut and proceed to plant political dynamite.
The crack of a sharpshooting sniper hits the intended target and proceeds to wreak havoc in the highly-attended political rally also hitting, but not killing, her right-hand person, Ruth. Curt also succumbs to the well-placed bullets aimed from the roof an adjacent building into Grant Park, downtown Chicago. Protesters scatter but the crack of the weapon seizes and is later discovered with the remains of the perpetrator.
Dena Baldwin, the compelling and charismatic woman and target who created a Facebook group she called Resistance USA, is from an old Chicago family of big time money. She is adamantly against the new president and garnered a very large following who felt the same. Dena also gathered some excellent minds together, those who work at the core of the organization, know how to sweep in donations, hack crucial websites and vet new members, organize and administer media posts. She is not alone in her fervor, having gathered 42,000 followers.
Protagonist Georgia Davis is contacted by Dena’s mother several weeks after the assassination, also very well off from a DC family, who feels the FBI saw an open and shut case and closed it far too quickly to answer her questions. Georgia agrees to give it a week. Georgia, however, also has an upheaval in her current private situation, that of her kid sister, Vanna, and baby Charlie crowding her two-bedroom apartment in Evanston.
Now the narrative backtracks to a timeline prior to the rally and also the location, from Chicago to Washington DC, bringing in support characters and peripheral family members as additional backstory which led to the events that unfolded early in the novel. The swing back took us to different venues and peeks inside the “real” Dena, who was not always so attractive.
It also includes scenes with Georgia’s long-lost mother and her strong emotional feelings of rejection which took the focus from the well-plotted and detailed political narrative and insights to the workings of our nation’s capital. The sub-plot was distracting and dialogue occasionally over-the-top. Otherwise, I really liked Georgia, smart and effective as a PI, who almost immediately identified more questions than answers and doggedly ferreted out pertinent persons of interest and the complex purpose of the hit. I also appreciated the personal tour of the sites of Chicago, many of which I’m beginning to recognize as well as the inner workings of Washington.
I received this download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Totally knocked my socks off and I’ll be looking for other books of the series. Ms. Hellmann lays it all out, blackeye and chest pains included, and it was obviously a knowledgeable and emotional assessment of her personal feelings. Recommended for anyone, pro or con, for or against, the current administration with an intelligent, admittedly prejudiced, purview into our political climate.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: Libby Fischer Hellmann is a critically acclaimed crime writer loved by readers the world over for her compulsively readable thrillers and strong female characters. Her fast-paced crime fiction spans 14 novels and over 20 short stories. She has also edited a popular crime fiction anthology called Chicago Blues. Her newest work, “War, Spies, and Bobby Sox: Stories About World War Two At Home” was released in March 2017, and promptly won the IPPY Silver Medal in the war/military category.
With critics describing her work as “masterful” and “meticulously researched”, it’s not hard to see why Libby’s thrilling and richly varied crime novels have won numerous awards. Libby is exceptionally committed to her work, and in 2005-2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3,400+ member organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers.
Libby started out in broadcast news, beginning her career as an assistant film editor for NBC News in New York before moving back to DC to work with Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer at N-PACT, the public affairs production arm of PBS. Retrained as an assistant director when Watergate broke, Libby helped produce PBS’s night-time broadcast of the hearings. She went on to work for public relations firm Burson-Marsteller in Chicago in 1978, where she stayed until she left to found Fischer Hellmann Communications in 1985.
Originally from Washington, D.C.–where, she says, “When you’re sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you’re talking politics”– Libby earned a Masters Degree in Film Production from New York University and a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to writing, Libby writes and produces videos, and conducts speaker training programs in platform speaking, presentation skills, media training and crisis communications.
Libby’s best-selling novels have won widespread acclaim, with her first novel, An Eye for Murder, nominated for several awards and described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense.”
An Eye for Murder introduced Ellie Foreman, a video producer and single mother who went on to star in five more novels in a series described by Libby as “a cross between Desperate Housewives and 24.” Libby’s second series followed the Chicago PI Georgia Davis, a no-nonsense detective who has been featured in four books so far. In addition to her hugely popular series, Libby has also written four standalone thrillers in diverse settings and historical periods Through her “Revolution Trilogy,” (Set the Night on Fire, A Bitter Veil, and Havana Lost) we meet young activists during the late Sixties, a young American woman who marries and moves to Tehran, and a female Mafia boss who chases power at the expense of love.
And if you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize! Sign up for Libby’s newsletter and get a FREE copy of AN EYE FOR MURDER, the first mystery in the Ellie Foreman series!
©2018 V Williams