It’s never an easy thing for a writer to immediately follow one great book release with another that’s not only as good as the first, but even better. So when I heard that Hilary Davidson’s second release The Next One To Fall (Forge books) was better than her brilliant debut The Damage Done, I was pleased but thought I’d see it for myself. And I’m happy to report that nobody was lying. The Next One To Fall indeed manages the impossible and tops the first Lily Moore book, which by the way I was completely impressed with.
In this story Lily goes on a trip to Manchu Picchu with her best friend Jesse. It’s a much needed vacation to get away from the ordeal she’s been through and start to heal. But wait, not so fast, “Tiger Lily”, there’s more drama in store. This time it’s a woman that Lily and Jesse witness take a tumble down a stone staircase . . . or was she pushed? When the police rule her death an accident, the duo quickly find themselves investigating the mysterious death and digging into the vicissitude of the woman’s past for clues with staggering implications. There are plenty of suspicious characters and people who all seem to have an agenda.
The Peruvian setting of The Next One To Fall, in all its descriptive beauty makes for a fascinating backdrop for this thriller. Davidson’s writing is such a pleasure to read. It’s delightfully smooth and goes down as easy as Peruvian wine. All her characters are well rendered, even minor characters, and Lily Moore makes for an engaging protagonist. Lily somehow has the amazing combination of being a tough female heroine, yet still sweet and elegant, like a sucker punch to the chops with white gloves on.
Hilary Davidson has proven once again she can write a great novel, worthy of all the recognition and praise she received the first time around. The Next One To Fall is a suspenseful and intriguing, page-turning mystery, atmospheric and Agatha Christie taut, that barely slows down enough to let you catch your breath. Highly recommended.