AudioBook Review: ToxiCity by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Today, for your listening pleasure I bring you ToxiCity by Libby Fischer Hellmann.  Please read on for the review, all about where to find the book, and how to connect with the author.


Title: ToxiCity
Author:  Libby Fischer Hellmann
Narrator: Robin Rowan
Format:  Paperback § eBook § AudioBook
Publisher: The Red Herring Press
Pages: 270
Length: 9 hours, 35 minutes
ISBN:  978-0984014101
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Stars Overall:  5   Story: 5  Narration:4
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Audible § Barnes & Noble §   iTunes

About the Book:
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

Book Review:

In what she calls the prequel to her Georgia Davis mysteries, Hellmann again leads us through a chilling mystery that is grounded in past and present, impeccably researched and characters that are well defined and wholly human.

This story centers on a series of puzzling murders, toxic waste sites, cancer clusters and revenge.  With a good dose of homegrown separatist groups and the paranoia that is their genesis, detailing of the frustrations inherent in police work and several clues that are detailed for the reader, the masses of information are provided in simple pieces that don’t feel overwhelming.

Relationships are all prominently on display here as well, both current and in flashback: from a rather one-sided romance between Georgia and Singer, the overload of guilt that Singer is subjected to as his family cannot embrace Georgia fully since she is not Jewish, to Singer’s undeniable “grass is greener” attraction to Riki, the interpersonal details and inclusions are spectacular. Their inclusion helps to flush out the story and provide needed background information that enhances your understanding of the characters and fixes them in your brain.

My only complaint with the audiobook version was in the narration.  Sadly, Robin Rowan worked to make distinct voices and accents for each character, that were often more distracting than had she simply made minor changes in pitch and pace.  The inclusion of varying accents, which were then detailed in the character’s words, provided a dissonance that was noticeable and occasionally broke the flow of what was being said.

I should, at this point make note that when I had agreed to review this AudioBook, I did not realize that I had purchased  a kindle copy of this particular title nearly six months ago.   A fortuitous discovery, as I was also able to test out the “whispersync” feature. Whispersync allows you to purchase the audio book at a discounted price if you have the kindle version, and you can use this handy and clever application to alternate between reading and listening, with both versions integrating seamlessly.

I did receive the AudioBook version of this book from the author for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word promotion at I am, Indeed.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.   

About the Author:

Libby Fischer Hellmann is the award-winning author of A Bitter Veil, Set the Night on Fire,  the Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis crime fiction series, and Nice Girl Does Noir, a two volume short story collection. She has lived in Chicago over 35 years.

Connect with Libby via:  Website § Facebook § @libbyhellmann § Email § Libby’s App