If you loved The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson, you're going to want to rush out and pick up The Next One to Fall, which hit stores on Valentine's Day.
In the second novel in travel writer Lily Moore's story, her best friend Jesse, a freelance photographer, convinces her to accept a trip to Peru to visit Machu Picchu - a much-needed working holiday to take Lily's mind off the death of her only sister three months earlier.
The story opens as they arrive at the fabled Inca city in the clouds and, as Lily and Jesse begin to explore, they overhear an argument and soon find a frail woman fighting for her life at the base of a steep staircase. Jesse runs for help while Lily stays with the woman, Trista, who seems to have had a major falling out with a man she named as Len.
Trista doesn't survive and it's soon clear the police don't seem to share Lily's conviction that there is foul play afoot.
They think it was an accident and that Trista, as a foreigner and drug addict, is a case best wrapped up quickly.
Lily - still raw from her younger sister's untimely death and years' long battle with drugs - cannot just forget about Trista, much as everyone seems to want her to. She soon spots the man who was with Trista just before her death and is determined to bring him to the attention of the local police.
Jesse is upset their idyllic vacation is thrown off the rails by a most untimely death, and the mystery man, Len, and his underlings are not helping at all.
But nothing is quite as it seems on the surface. For starters, Len seems to have death follow his footsteps, and the men working for him are more than a little shady.
The setting for this story couldn't be more perfect: exotic, compelling and mysterious, and very well described by Davidson, a professional travel writer herself.
The mark of a talented writer is when the reader is transported to another world where the characters seem like real people, ones you care and worry about. And The Next One to Fall shows Davidson has talent in spades as both the people and place come alive in this book.
The Damage Done has won an Anthony Award for best first novel, won a Crimespree Award and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis and Macavity awards. I can only imagine what other honours lie in store.
And hopefully there are many more Lily Moore stories yet to come.
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