Book Review: The Damage Done – Hilary Davidson

The Damage DoneTitle: The Damage Done
Author: Hilary Davidson
ISBN: 9780765336392
Pages: 352
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Lily Moore is devastated when she’s told her younger sister, Claudia, was found dead in the New York apartment they once shared. Lily and Claudia had their differences, not the least of which was over Claudia’s wild-child, drug-fueled lifestyle, but they were sisters, after all. But Lily’s grief is transformed into confusion and anger when she goes to identify Claudia’s body at the morgue, only to discover the woman isn’t her sister at all. Who is this woman, and why was she living in Claudia’s apartment, pretending to be Lily’s sister? And where is Claudia now?


The Damage Done is a mystery novel with stellar plotting and well-drawn characters. Lily is a great character to play heroine in The Damage Done. She’s not perfect, but she’s easy to relate to. Readers will appreciate her smarts and her determination to track down Lily. Davidson takes her time giving readers the true history behind Lily and Claudia’s relationship, and it unfolds at a great pace, leaving the reader wanting more, but still relaying enough satisfying tidbits to avoid frustration.

This novel was Hilary Davidson’s debut for book-length fiction, and that’s what makes The Damage Done remarkable. It’s so tightly plotted and well written that it would be a feat for many seasoned writers of the genre. Every twist and turn is perfectly executed, and readers will race through this book to discover the truth behind Claudia’s disappearance. Davidson balances action, plot, and character development incredibly well, which is difficult to do. This is a book you shouldn’t plan on putting down once you’ve read the first pages.

One aspect of The Damage Done that is surprising but welcome, is Lily’s emotional state. She’s believable and well-written, but what’s gratifying is how broken up she is over Claudia’s death. So many (realistic) emotions are coursing through her—she’s still angry at Claudia for past hurts and heartbroken over the thought that something may have happened to her baby sister, all while being suspicious that this whole disappearance was somehow orchestrated by Claudia, and Lily is playing right into her manipulative hands. The emotional depth in this novel is superbly done.

There’s not much else I can say to convince you that you should run out and buy The Damage Done immediately; trust me when I say it’s that good. This is one of those books I’ve been hearing about for years, and while I can’t believe it took me this long to read it, I’m so glad I did. Davidson recently released a sequel to The Damage Done, called Evil in All Its Disguises, and you can bet I’ll be picking it up soon.

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  1. […] this thrilling sequel to The Damage Done, author Hilary Davidson continues Lily’s adventures, this time set in Peru. The setting is […]

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