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Damage Control    by Robert Dugoni order for
Damage Control
by Robert Dugoni
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Following his powerful novel, The Jury Master, Robert Dugoni brings us another unusual thriller starring a successful attorney. This time, the protagonist, Dana Hill, juggles being a wife and mother (of three-year-old Molly) with her work at the Seattle law firm of Strong & Thurmond. There, her immediate supervisor, the unpleasant Marvin Crocket (who resembles a bowling ball), is continually on her case, trying to force her to quit.

The story opens with the mysterious murder of an elderly family doctor. That puzzle remains unanswered for most of the book. Dugoni next shines his spotlight on Dana's orderly life, as it begins to fall apart. She's diagnosed with breast cancer, discovers that her husband Grant (also a lawyer but not, apparently, a very good one) is having an affair, and her beloved twin brother James is brutally murdered right after they plan to meet to discuss a problem he doesn't know how to handle - another killing with no very obvious cause. Homicide Detective Michael Logan reads the crime scene as an interrupted burglary, turned violent.

Another detective, Daniel Holmes, shows up as Dana's going through her brother's things - but Logan has never heard of him. Discovering that James had rented a wilderness cabin east of Seattle, Dana goes there, to find that Holmes got there first. Who is he, what is he looking for, and who is the woman who spent time with James at the cabin? Dana finds a very unusual earring at her brother's home. The trail of the artist takes her to Maui and an eccentric genius. He gives her information and a very special tea. But the killer is close on her trail, and more deaths follow.

Robert Meyers and his lovely wife Elizabeth seem the perfect political couple - he comes from a family that has 'personified the American dream in Seattle', and is now a U.S. Senator with high hopes of winning the White House on a 'Return to Camelot' platform. Robert Dugoni ties together these diverse plot threads into a fast-flowing thriller with strong currents of romance and mysticism and a tense conclusion, in which our intrepid heroine - with a little help from Logan - personally confronts two horrific villains.

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