Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hilary Davidson

Hilary Davidson’s debut novel, The Damage Done, won the 2011 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, and the Crimespree Award for Best First Novel. The second book in the series is The Next One to Fall and the third is Evil in All Its Disguises. Davidson’s first standalone novel, Blood Always Tells, was published by Tor/Forge in April 2014.

Her new novel is One Small Sacrifice—the first book in a new series.

Recently I asked Davidson about what she was reading. Her reply:
I was on book tour recently, and my most recent reading has been influenced by the writers I appeared with. I’d never met Laird Barron before we did an event together at Scottsdale’s Poisoned Pen, but I’d heard about his work in the horror genre. Before our event, I read his new novel, Black Mountain, which is the second in his Isaiah Coleridge series. There were a lot of reasons I loved the book, starting with how the author incorporated mythology from several cultures. Isaiah Coleridge himself is half-Maori, half-Celt, and there are dreamlike sequences that are very different from what I’ve encountered in most crime novels. The private investigator novel is well-trod terrain, but Barron’s version came with many delightful twists.

I knew Laura Benedict before we appeared together at the St. Louis County Library, and I’ve read her short fiction before. But I’d never read her novel-length work until I started The Stranger Inside. It’s a delightfully twisted domestic suspense, with two timelines that show the main character, Kimber Hannon in very different ways. In the contemporary timeline, she’s the victim of a con artist who’s managed to move into her house while she was away for a few days; in a timeline set in the past, Kimber is an aggressive teenager who makes a terrible, tragic mistake and buries the consequences. Of course, the past never stays dead, and the confluence of past and present makes for a thrill ride of a book.

Finally, I had the pleasure of reading Rachel Howzell Hall’s standalone novel, They All Fall Down. I’ve seen some reviews calling it a modern take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but it’s so much more than that. It manages to take a diverse crew of miscreants and make the reader care about them, none more so than Miriam Macy, the bitter, vengeful narrator of the story. The novel delves deeply into issues around sin and punishment, and I loved every dark moment of it.
Visit the official Hilary Davidson site.

The Page 69 Test: The Damage Done.

The Page 69 Test: Blood Always Tells.

The Page 69 Test: One Small Sacrifice.

--Marshal Zeringue