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Movie star caught on tape elbowing street person? Maggie's company moves in: the star's just given bocoodles of money for a homeless shelter; the man deliberately grabbed her.
Football player gets arrested for drugs? Her company puts the best face on it. Yeah, he was arrested, but he didn't know they were in his car. Easy enough to persuade one of his posse to take the fall. Not that Maggie's company does anything illegal. She hopes.
You get the picture. Putting the best spin on questionable actions while staying within the law. That's what Maggie does.
Then a scandal arises involving a glamorous political family Maggie once knew; a family she pretended were her own as she grew up. Even the tragedy that rent the friendship never stopped her missing them.
Her boss knows she was once an insider and deliberately puts her in with them as they try to put the best face on the scandal. Maggie's once again drawn into their world, but she walks a fine line between friend and informer.
All the while we wonder what's going on, the secret of one tragic summer lies behind it all. And not till the riveting climax do we discover what really happened.
If you like psychological suspense with a hint of romance, this is a great read.
I felt duped by all the positive reviews I read before downloading this book. Thye topic and story line was quite good and refreshingly new to me. However, this author has a propensity for long, long run-on sentences with prepasitional phrases and parentheitacal asides. Drove me crazy! Besides the unnecessarily long rhetoric she also had a propensity for filler and side trips. Her interest in the chemical make-up of perfume had no place in the book and I would hazard a guess that at least one-third of the book was "filler" intended to increase volume. I don't like cheating - that is, speed-reading or jumping ahead in books but found my self getting angry at filler and doing so. Don't be m,islead by the positives.
The first half of this book may well be one of the best books that I have read in a very long time. The writing is gorgeous. Her use of words and imagery and description is perfect. I had to look up a lot of words but every time that I did, I found that the word used was perfect to describe the event or thing. But then the second half of the book becomes a thriller. And that part was predictable and just ok. Read the book. If you do not absolutely love the first half of the book, I would be surprised. I wish her editor had told her to keep up that story and forget the thriller angle. A great book about Damage Control and PR would have been enough.
I'm a fan of the Eve Diamond books and this one (a stand alone, not part of that series) is also excellent. It's a fast paced book that takes the reader through the actions of 2 high school girls and how these actions later haunt them. The main character & narrator, Maggie, has quirks that make her relateable and a compelling narrator. It thought it was an excellent portrait of high school and how we retain the ghosts of the past and also an excellent mystery with twists and turns everywhere. I didn't give it five stars because in the middle things get a little confusing and convoluted but it's a quick read and hard to put down.
I've been a fan of Denise Hamilton ever since a friend recommended I read "The Jasmine Trade," the first book in Hamilton's superb Eve Diamond series. Unfortunately, her first one-off wasn't really my cup of tea, but let me tell you, "Damage Control" has brought me back around in a big way--from its double-entendre title (referring to both a PR objective and the book's "damaged" characters who compartmentalize their past traumas in order to move forward) to the way the book moves back and forth in time to illuminate how the past can come back to haunt the present in ways we can't begin to imagine. There are two mysteries central to the narrative: the first is an incident that happened to two 16-year-old girls one night on the beach and which brought an end to their friendship; the second is a murder connected to the father (now a U.S. Senator) of one of the girls. The other girl--now in her early thirties and working for a high-powered PR firm hired by the senator, which assigns her to the case--is brought back into a world and family she thought she had left far behind to unwillingly confront unanswered questions about who those people really were--and about what really happened that night years ago on the beach. Hamilton's lifelong fascination with perfume and scent gets a full airing here, too. This is a first-rate read, and one I'm recommending to all my friends.
The story starts a bit slow, but I don't have a problem with that. I like to get a sense of place and character before I get involved with the plot. I find that it also allows me to adjust to the rhythm of the writer's prose. I enjoyed the details about the ins and outs of the public relations firm (which I had no prior knowledge). I really enjoyed the first three quarters of the book a lot. The characters were interesting and likable and I really got caught up in all the twists and turns of the plot. I feel like the last quarter of the book sort of got out of hand and was ended rather abruptly. I would have preferred the book be a bit longer and the same care taken with the finale as with the first part of the book. Other than these rather minor quibbles, I really liked Ms. Hamilton's writing style. I'll be searching out more of her work.
I actually would like to give this book four and a half stars. Great writing, the author's word choice and turn of a phrase brought me up and out of the book several times with glee. Fresh and interesting narrative. Not quite five stars because the plot wandered a bit in the middle, common for novels, but I loved the ride. Excellent plot, kept me guessing, which I love! Highly recommended if you love to lose yourself in a fun, light book from a perceptive, talented writer.
The book started off describing a plausible plot involving the death of a Senator's aid. But then the author offers way too many subplots and threads to make it interesting or conceivable. It would have been a lot better to keep to a central theme and develop the characters such as the egotistical senator and his wife rather than letting them be peripheral to too many other threats that became way too contrived. Started fine but lost its way.
This was my first book by this author. From start to finish theme of the title rang through "damage control" not only for the clients but all connected to include employees. The main characters all had deep dark secrets to protect. This book had hero worship, violence, deceit, murder and romance. I really was surprised to discover who the guilty parties were. This book broke down all to very last detail. I would read more of her work.
Certainly not a job for just anyone. Put between a rock and a hard place, her job and her once best friend and the dangerous knowledge of things she was not supposed to find out, her life is in danger. Now she must decide where her loyalty lies. Interesting read, surprising twists and turns.