DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer Hellmann
Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
With little work during the pandemic, Chicago PI Georgia Davis agrees to help the best friend of fellow sleuth, Ellie Foreman. Susan Siler’s aunt died suddenly after her Covid booster, and Susan’s distraught mother wants the death investigated.
However, Georgia’s investigation is interrupted by a family trip to Nauvoo, Illinois, the one-time Mormon heartland. It’s there that her life unexpectedly intersects with the runaway spouse of a Mormon Fundamentalist. Back in Evanston, after Georgia is almost killed by a hit and run driver, she discovers that she and the escaped woman look remarkably alike.
Is someone trying to kill Georgia because of her death investigation case? Or is it a case of mistaken identity? And how can Georgia find her doppelganger before whoever wants them both dead tries again?
The state of Utah was founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Brigham Young. They were escaping religious persecution after John Smith formed the church in New York, fled to Illinois and was persecuted by organized religion and finally went to Utah to have a place they could worship and form their religion in peace.
A splinter group called the Fundamentalists are a radical group within the church whose sole purpose is to maintain the integrity of the original teachings of the founders. Those teachings include polygamy and this splinter group practice it today. The group has men with multiple partners, some as young as 13 or 14. Eden had married for love and the first years of her marriage were very happy. Then her husband found a younger woman and married her as well. Eden became a house charwoman and was often beaten and denigrated by her husband. Despite having three children she had to escape for her own sanity.
Eden runs to Chicago and environs around Illinois where the church first began. A large city offers a chance for anonymity. With no source of income, she is reduced to living in homeless shelters and relying upon the charity and hospitality of others. She is constantly looking over her shoulder and in fear of being dragged back to Utah. She fears for her life but wants to see her three children again.
Ms. Fischer-Hellman writes a very illuminating expose of the lives of these women married into this sect. Leaving husbands means giving up everything the woman has and escaping to another life, hidden. However, there are members of the sect who are very talented investigators and, if found, leaving a husband can result in beatings, imprisonment, and in some cases death.
I found this book enlightening on the Fundamentalist Sect of the Mormon Church and enjoyed the novel. It is a good primer for anyone who is considering joining this church and will need to evaluate the consequences. 5 stars – C.E. Williams
I read Book 5 of this series, High Crimes, and also found it to be a solid and riveting narrative. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher by winning a Goodreads Giveaway that in no way influenced this review. He enjoyed her strong well-researched writing style as well and these are his honest opinions.
Genre: Medical Thrillers, Medical Fiction, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: The Red Herrings Press
Print Length: 335 pages
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Source: Publisher and Goodreads Giveaway
Title Link(s): DoubleBlind [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
The Author: Libby would love to visit your Book Club or Library Via Zoom. Click here: https://www.libbyhellmann.com/book-clubs-and-libraries
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 16 novels and 25 short stories. She also writes historical fiction stand-alones and edited the evergreen popular crime fiction anthology CHICAGO BLUES. Her newest historical fiction, A BEND IN THE RIVER was released in October, 2020.
With critics describing her work as “masterful” and “meticulously researched”, Libby’s thrilling and richly varied novels have won numerous awards. Libby is 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 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 moved to Chicago 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.
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.” The mystery was nominated for several awards and described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense.” Libby’s second series follows the Chicago PI Georgia Davis, a no-nonsense detective who has been featured in five books so far. Her historical fiction includes what she calls her “Revolution Trilogy,” (Set the Night on Fire, A Bitter Veil, and Havana Lost) in which we meet young activists during the late Sixties, a young American woman who becomes trapped in the Iranian revolution, and a female Mafia boss in Cuba who chases power at the expense of love.
And if you’ve read this far, you deserve a reward! When you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll receive 7 free short stories, including the prequel to the AN EYE FOR MURDER series, which is the prequel to the Georgia Davis series, which will be the prequel… to who knows what? Whatever it is, Libby guarantees it will be compelling.
Click to sign up here: http://www.libbyhellmann.com/libby-fischer-hellmans-newsletter/
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams