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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.