Friday, March 4, 2022

DoubleBlind (Georgia Davis #6), by Libby Fischer Hellmann

The Red Herrings Press, March 2022

Georgia Davis, former cop, now Chicago PI, hasn't had much work during the pandemic. So she's got less reason to hesitate than she might otherwise have had, when Ellie Forman asks her to look into the death of her best friend Susan Siler's aunt. Why would she hesitate? Susan's aunt died almost immediately after getting a covid vaccine shot, and so did another elderly recipient, a man, at the same vaccine site at the same time. The two unfortunate dead have no other connection. A previously undetected, fatal risk associated with the vaccine seems wildly unlikely, especially considering that Susan's aunt had received the first shot without incident. Yet it also seems unlikely that anyone targeted Susan's aunt and this unrelated man. Georgia starts by checking out the doctor and the hospital running that clinic, and finds that the doctor and his wife have abruptly left Chicago. She turns to trying to track down not just the source of the vaccine but the specific lot used for the shots that killed two recipients. Georgia runs into roadblocks there, too, and has to turn some of her questions over to people who can dig deep into the relevant databases. 

In the meantime, her mother, JoBeth, wants to take her and Vanna on a weekend trip, and Georgia reluctantly agrees. It's on this trip, during a stop in a small town, that Georgia encounters what will be the other problem that complicates her life in this story.

The reader has already been introduced to this other thread of trouble. In alternating chapters, Eden Christansen has been telling her story, of her life as the wife of Porter Christensen, a leader of the fundamentalist Mormon community in this small town. She has three children, but she's also abused, and has come to the conclusion she needs to disappear, even if it means leaving her children behind for a while, or Porter is going to kill her.

As it happens, Eden and Georgia resemble each other rather strongly.

Some people in the small town, Navoo, think Georgia is Eden. But Georgia also makes a visit to the plant where the vaccine is being manufactured, in her attempt find out how she can track the correct lot number. She has some angry encounters, there, too. When she returns to Chicago, and starts to have near-fatal accidents, the first serious question is, who is behind it?

 What follows is a complex and exciting chase for not one but two answers, and sets of villains. It's a great read, with characters who have depth and complexity, and very enjoyable and satisfying.


I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher, and are reviewing it voluntarily.

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