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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 place 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.
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Stars: Overall 5 Narration 3 Story 5
The second title in her Georgia Davis series that I have reviewed, Libby Fischer Hellman again brings light to shadows, unearthing truly disturbing elements as she brings us through the story. Georgia Davis is an easy character to like: she breathes and thinks and reacts to events with a humanity that is often missing in other detective stories, and Hellman uses that well-defined humanity in a character that is gutsy and determined, looking to do right for the underdog.
This story is particularly disturbing for it highlights the sex trafficking industry: already readers will intuit some less than savory elements, but Hellman goes steps further bringing child-trafficking into the mix. Be aware readers, while the story is incredibly well detailed and researched, there are moments that will literally turn your stomach and have you writing your congressmen.
Georgia manages to wind her way through several threats, deal with some particularly unsavory people, the initial depravity just may not be as deep and disturbing as this can get. And it can get pretty disturbing with Russian gangsters, her newly discovered half-sister who works as a prostitute, a missing child, and the ever-present grasping and greedy money-men, who only want their cut.
Narration in this story is provided by Beth Richmond, and while her narration was capable, it could have been much better. Her delineation between characters was lackluster, and there was a decided lack of emotive emphasis: this is a page-turner, action packed and tense story: narration should have, in some way, reflected that tension. And sadly, it didn’t. Fortunately, the story is so well written and engaging, the less-than-stellar delivery did not decrease my enjoyment of the book significantly.
Georgia Davis is a wonderful character: less gung-ho confident and more determined and methodical, looking to do right to those who have been wronged. Her stories all stand alone, although they will whet your appetite for more, especially if you prefer your mysteries with a touch of grit and grime.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful