by Libby Fischer Hellmann

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Toxicity by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Libby Fischer Hellmann's thriller TOXICITY is as gritty as it is spellbinding. Populated with fully-realized characters, TOXICITY introduces us to Hellmann's signature heroine, Georgia Davis. But we meet Georgia ten years earlier, when she is a young and determined rookie on a Chicago police force. In Georgia's debut, we see her tenacity and strength, but also her vulnerability: the seeds sown for the woman she will become. TOXICITY works on all levels, drawing the reader inexorably into a web of deceit, heart-crushing loss, and righteous fury. This wicked brew explodes in a stunning and satisfying conclusion that answers every question. Hellmann pulls no punches.
--J. Carson Black, best-selling author of THE SHOP and DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

Ten years before EASY INNOCENCE, PI Georgia Davis was a police officer on the force in a Chicago suburb. And while homicides are rare on the North Shore, three bodies turn up in quick succession--all of them dumped in waste disposal dumpsters or landfills. The investigations into the murders test the mettle and professionalism of a combined police task force. Along the way, they also test the strength of Georgia's relationship with one of the detectives working the case. While Georgia, her detective boyfriend Matt, and his sometime partner John Stone pit their skills against those of an ingenious killer, the daughter of a real estate mogul-- who just happens to have her eye on Matt -- complicates matters. A dark police procedural and thriller, TOXICITY is a prequel to the Georgia Davis PI series (EASY INNOCENCE and DOUBLEBACK).

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013076716
Publisher: The Red Herrings Press
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Series: Georgia Davis PI Series , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 369
Sales rank: 272,218
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Libby Fischer Hellmann, an award-winning Chicago crime thriller author, has published seven novels. Her most recent, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE, is a stand-alone thriller that goes back, in part, to the late Sixties in Chicago. She also writes two crime fiction series. The first features Chicago PI Georgia Davis and includes the hard-boiled EASY INNOCENCE (2008) and DOUBLEBACK (2009). In addition there are four novels in the Ellie Foreman series, which Libby describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.” Libby has also published over 15 short stories in NICE GIRL DOES NOIR and has edited the acclaimed crime fiction anthology, CHICAGO BLUES. She has been nominated twice for the Anthony Award, and once for the Agatha. All her work is available digitally. Originally from Washington DC, she has lived in Chicago for 30 years and claims they’ll take her out of there feet first. More at her website:

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Toxicity 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
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 ToxiCity from the author. Although fast-paced and complex, the plot and characters are well developed and believable and make for an easy to follow, exciting story. I highly recommend ToxiCity and anything else Libby Fischer Hellman writes.
Dirty_Lowdown More than 1 year ago
Fans of the Georgia Davis PI series (Easy Innocence and Doubleback ), and anybody that loves police procedurals written tautly, with grit and a healthy dose of noir will love this one. Toxicity is a prequel to the other Georgia Davis PI books and takes place ten years earlier when Georgia is a young cop on an suburban Chicago police force. The story opens with a hook. The antagonist over seeing the death of a man dying in agony. This prologue will pull the reader in and grab their attention like a road accident. There is no cure for morbid curiosity.We know we shouldn¿t look, be we can¿t help ourselves. In suburban north shore Chicago three bodies turn up in succession, all ¿dumped¿; one in a garbage truck to be ground up, one in a land fill and one in a pit in a waste disposal site. Glenbrook detective Matt Singer is called to the scene of the first body where Officer Georgia Davis, his fiancé, is securing the scene doing crowd control. Soon another body is discovered in the jurisdiction of Detective Sergeant John Stone, from neighboring Northview. There¿s nothing to tie the crimes together except for the fact that both were peripherally associated with a developer named Feldman who also owns the garbage company. Singer and Stone partner up, and when a third body shows up, and the actual cause in none of the deaths is readily identifiable by the M.E. The political pressure, and the pressure from the wealthy Feldman¿s starts to pile on. The story is really a ¿how done it¿, not a who done it, and Hellmann writes tight well researched prose to make the story work oh so well. There is a certain ¿hardboiled¿ feeling to the story without the use of the usual clichés.Instead, the dialogue is taut and to the point but never relies on ¿tough guy¿ one liners. The hardboiled atmosphere, instead comes from the dark aspects of the story and the gritty persistence of the characters and a pace to the story that is perfect. The character development, which happens slickly as the plot unwinds, and is seamlessly woven into the story, draws the characters as real humans with real lives. Before you know it you are familiar with their dreams, frustrations and motivations. And there is nothing of the sensational, they walk across the scenes as complete characters, from wrinkled suits to bad habits, from endearing traits to thought processes. The plot itself is complex and full of red herrings and dead ends that aren¿t just ¿devices¿ but tell the back story. There are elements pertinent to current concerns about the environment, corporate greed, and corruption of the political and legal systems. Hellmann uses small details to instill a sense of place and to bring the story to life'; a Bob Dylan poster on a lawyers wall, with psychedelic colored hair (I own this poster!), the green copy button and the smell of ink from a Xerox machine. But the details push the story along, not weigh it down. You can see, feel, and smell the places and the people. Hellmann is also wildly successful in developing empathy for the antagonist who is drawn as both a victim and a cold blooded serial killer. The back story is real, and has happened a thousand times only to be quickly forgotten, but Hellmann makes the reader aware that it is not forgotten by those whose lives it effected and that when the system fails, sometimes people take justice into their own hands.
JohnB51 More than 1 year ago
As a professional environmental analytical chemist I was already predisposed to have fun with this new story by Libby Fischer Hellmann, one of my favorite Chicago mystery writers. I was not disappointed; Libby did a wonderful job of interweaving some Georgia Davis backstory, several interesting interpersonal relationships, and tense environmental drama, into a believably frightening murder mystery! The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, which can be a disaster for the reader (and author!) if not laid out well, and Ms. Hellmann succeeded admirably in letting us have the present and past story fragments coordinated beautifully in the push towards the denouement, imho. The resolution of both the mystery and the drama was quite satisfactory, and I greatly enjoyed the looks at the many facets which comprise Georgia Davis! The only negative comments I will make are solely due to personal pet peeves of mine: misspellings of place/person names, and geographical direction errors, as part of a story where said places/persons/directions are used to flesh out the verisimilitude. Particular bugs that stuck in my eye: Georgia traveling south from Fullerton to get to Diversey (which is north), and Halsted Street repeatedly spelled Halstead. Granted, I'm picking at nits here, but there you have it! :-) All told, five stars, I greatly enjoyed this story!!
Tregjm More than 1 year ago
Toxicity has Georgia, back when she was a cop. She is living with another cop, Matt. Matt is called when a dead body that may or may not be a homicide, but left in a dumpster, is found. Detective Stone, Matt's friend and former partner is also investigating another body. They actually end up with several bodies, with no visible signs of trauma other than death and dumped like garbage. There are flashbacks to a housing development that ties in, but you really have to read this action packed, hard to put down story with lots of character development and even a bit of romance. This is a must read, and then read all her other books! They are all good! Highly recommended.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Toxicity is about a serial killer that has the police force confused and the population scared. There are no marks on the victims, no way of telling how they died. They all just end up dead in a trash pile, dumpster or garbage place. No one can figure out why they die or if the deaths are even related. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was blown away once I began reading. The author's style is fast paced and exciting. I literally couldn't put the book down. There are several main characters and several different view points going on at the same time, but it isn't confusing. There were just enough details to keep me reading and absorbed in the story, but not enough so that I figured it out too quickly. Think CSI meets Erin Brockovich. Combine that with excellent writing and you have a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.