Don’t Look Down
Book 2 of the Shadows of New York Series
by Hilary Davidson
publishing date: February 11, 2020
AMBER LOVE 06-MAR-2020 This review is a courtesy provided by NetGalley. To support this site and my other work, please consider being a monthly donor at Patreon.com/amberunmasked; you can also buy my books through Amazon (or ask your local retailer to order you copies). I’m also an Amazon Influencer so you can shop through my lists of recommended products.
From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice, a gripping mystery about a sinister murder that everyone wants to stay buried—except one dogged NYPD detective.
Jo Greaver is a model of success. Young and ambitious, she’s built a thriving beauty business from nothing. But she has secrets she’ll do anything to keep buried. When her blackmailer offers to meet, Jo expects to pay him off—but gets a bullet instead. Bleeding and in shock, Jo flees with no one to turn to.
When NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling and her partner, Rafael Mendoza, find Andray Baxter murdered in his own home—shot through the heart—everything points to Jo as the killer. Her blood is at the scene, and so are disturbing photos of her taken as a young teen. But Sheryn has doubts. Was the kindhearted Andray really a criminal? Why did he repeatedly report finding spyware in his apartment? Was there something shady about Jo’s sister dying a year earlier?
Something’s not right, and it’s up to Sheryn to piece together the sinister puzzle, no matter the cost.
Hilary Davidson’s Don’t Look Down is more than a mystery and more than a cop procedural. She has taken characters and given each one a story with an ending. Everyone’s lives intersect in some way. The reveals are held off until the final act and roll out one by one giving readers time to digest all the subtle links.
Perhaps the best features of the book aren’t the mysteries at all. It’s these characters. Getting to know Detective Sheryn Sterling and her partner Detective Rafael Mendoza (now disabled from a past injury) felt deep and real. Since each chapter is from a different character’s point of view, readers get to know all of them well including prime suspect Jo Greaver, a sympathetic hardworking woman who is more survivor than victim but ultimately has to come to grips with being both.
The diversity of the cast brings up a tertiary arc about Sheryn’s son who ditched school in order to protest the immigration bans. He gets arrested. Sheryn has to explain the real world to him that as a black boy, he is more likely to face the justice system and perhaps the harsh brutality that can come with it. Having a black mom for a cop doesn’t give him a free pass either. Sheryn still has to work the nuances of sweet talking a white cop through mentioning a mutual friend, someone he would respect more than her.
As this is book two of a new series, I had no trouble jumping into the world of New York City and the lives of Sterling and Mendoza. In fact, when I looked it up, I saw that book one, One Small Sacrifice, was only $1 so I immediately grabbed it.
Davidson presents a masterpiece of crime fiction that shows humanity in our modern times with underdog characters who have doubt rather than machismo, but they have instincts and the intelligence to navigate the web of murders.