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ToxiCity by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Toxicity - Libby Fischer Hellmann

Note: While this is labeled as Book #3 of the series, it really is set before Book #1 and can be read as a stand alone novel.

This is a clever serial killer mystery. The Feldman development site seems to be central to the story, but us readers know a little more than the detectives. The story has flashbacks to when houses were just going up on the Feldman site, showing us how families put their dreams into being home owners. At first the bodies don’t seem to be connected, but as Georgia and Detective Matt Singer dig into each one, similarities become apparent.

Singer and his partner Detective Sargent John Stone make a good team. But Matt has some personal issues. First, he’s in a relationship with Georgia, which is against department regulations. That double standard rears it’s ugly head and Georgia pays the price. Then he’s helping out a potential victim of the serial killer, Vicky Feldman (daughter of the Feldman who created the housing complex).

While I really enjoyed the plot, the characters fell a little flat for me. Matt is a wishwashy guy who can’t decide what he wants in a relationship. Georgia is drowning in self-pity and alcohol. Stone is interesting but we get so little of him. Ricky starts off as a capable business woman but later huffs off in anger, putting several people in danger.

The ending is full of suspense and action. The story revealed the motivations of the killer in such a way that I did sympathize with them in many ways. It was an excellent wrap up of the murder mystery. I did want a bit more from Georgia, showing us clearly how she went from being that drunken sorry sot to the competent PI we know and love. 4/5 stars

The Narration: Beth Richmond and Derek Shetterly tag team this book. I’ve gotten used to Richmond narrating the first 2 books solo, so I feel she could have pulled this entire book off. Again, I like her voice for Georgia. She also tackles several Jewish words with ease. Shetterly was OK. I often had trouble differentiating his voice for Stone and his voice for Singer, so I sometimes lost track of what each guy was doing. Over all, the pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Libby Fischer Hellmann. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.