Friday, May 31, 2019

Books: "One Small Sacrifce" By Hilary Davidson

One Small Sacrifice
By Hilary Davidson
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; Audiobook, $24.99; available June 1

Hilary Davidson is a Toronto-born travel journalist who has lived in New York City since October 2001, and she is the author of eighteen nonfiction books, most of which are for Frommer's Travel Guides, and articles for publications including Discover and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Davidson is the author of the Anthony Award-winning Lily Moore series (The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises) and the hard-boiled thriller Blood Always Tells.

Davidson's newest novel is One Small Sacrifice, the launch of a brand-new series featuring NYPD Detective Sheryn Sterling.

Sheryn is brilliant and dedicated, as well as hard-headed, because while her painful personal history gives her invaluable insight into the minds of both criminals and their victims, it can also give her tunnel vision.

Detective Sterling is certain that Alex Traynor got away with murder when his friend Cori fell to her death under suspicious circumstances a year prior. Cori's death was ruled a suicide, but Sheryn thinks Alex, who is a wartime photographer suffering from PTSD who claims he doesn't remember what happened, is to blame. 

When Emily, Alex's finacee and a talented and beloved local doctor, goes missing, Sharyn has a determination to make certain that this time, Alex faces justice. However, as Sharyn delves into the investigation and unearths the facts leading up to Emily's disappearance, all her suppositions are overturned. 

Cori's death seems to be connected, but everyone has a different recollection of the night she died, and none of the pieces are fitting together.

One Small Sacrifice is told in alternating points of view, from the perspectives of Detective Sterling and Alex, creating this complex, layered novel that has no simple answers, two intertwined mysteries, and one unexpected, satisfying conclusion.

Hilary Davidson.
Davidson, who has had a lifelong fascination with crime and understanding the mind of the criminal, cites a personal trauma as the source of the book's resonant and realistic treatment of PTSD. She experienced a workplace attack during her first job out of college when a mentally ill man set the government office where she worked on fire, destroying three floors of the building and injuring several people. She escaped the fire safely, but her acknowledgement of how fragile life is, and that no one is really safe, has had a lifelong impact on both her personal outlook and storytelling.

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