Tuesday, February 7, 2012

THE NEXT ONE TO FALL - Hilary Davidson

FIRST LINE:  "Standing at the edge of the mountain, I imagined what it would feel like to let go."

Lily Moore and Jesse Robb return in Hilary Davidson’s sophomore novel, THE NEXT ONE TO FALL. While she isn’t traveling for her job, it’s fitting that the travel writer sleuth should find herself outside of New York City for her next adventure. Lily and Jesse are visiting Machu Picchu in Peru when they discover a fatally injured woman who claims she was murdered, pushed down the ancient stone staircase. The woman’s dying words lead the pair away from their mundane tour group into a world of secrets, deception and death.

While Davidson’s victim in this novel fell to her death, Davidson is doing nothing but climbing. THE NEXT ONE TO FALL is an exquisite novel in plotting, setting and characterization. The plot is filled with unsuspecting twists, creating a mental labyrinth in which readers will likely find themselves thinking in the wrong direction. But never fear, as you scurry through the pages, Davidson will lead you safely to the end and you will want to turn around and try it again.

The Peru setting is both beautiful and dangerous. Davidson envelopes the reader in the geography without weighing down the plot with superfluous detail. Her writing manages to create imagery and atmosphere while being succinct and efficacious. Those who have not visited Machu Picchu themselves will feel as though they have after THE NEXT ONE TO FALL.

THE DAMAGE DONE introduced readers to Lily and Jesse, and while those unfamiliar to the first novel will not need to backtrack before THE NEXT ONE TO FALL, those who have read Davidson’s work will appreciate the way Davidson reflects their past experiences in their present characterization. Lily and Jesse suffered hardships and still have open wounds that can be easily re-opened. But their core strengths still guide them day to day. Jesse still exudes wit and charm; Lily is still thoughtful and introspective. And the relationship between the two is still shaping up to be one of the greatest in crime fiction.

THE NEXT ONE TO FALL is a creative blend of intrigue, suspense and mystery that will keep your blood pumping this winter. The hard-boiled ladies of crime fiction most definitely have another card-holding member in Hilary Davidson.

THE NEXT ONE TO FALL is available next Tuesday - Valentine's Day - as a hardcover (ISBN: 9780765326980), and for my audiobook friends, I'm thrilled to announce that Dreamscape Media will be releasing an audio version (ISBN: 9781611206647), narrated by Hilary Huber.


Kathleen A. Ryan February 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM  

An outstanding review, Jen! I've already pre-ordered THE NEXT ONE TO FALL for my Nook, but I want my own hard copy, which I hope to get at a signing this month, either in NYC or Huntington @ Book Revue. I'm an avid audiobook listener, so I might treat myself to one of those, too!

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