Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson
Review by Scott Montgomery
Evil In All Its Disguises has solidified Hilary Davidson’s Lily Moore as one of my favorite series heroines. Her books have all the trappings of an elegant thriller, that Davidson applies a gritty edge to, with the highs and lows of the locations she chooses, and the dark secrets her characters carry. What really keeps me reading is her engaging protagonist.
In Evil In All Its Disguises Lily’s job as a travel writer is the catalyst for the plot. Sent on a journey to Acapulco, a place that has a history with her favorite actress, Ava Gardner, Lily finds herself with fellow travel writers in a hotel that has seen better times. Davidson uses her own background in this field to delve into the different personalities in this occupation; providing much of the book’s humor. It does get serious however, when one of her colleagues, Skylar, disappears after she tells Lily she’s working on an expose’ that will bring someone in the travel industry down. As Lily looks into the disappearance, things become more dangerous, especially when her unscrupulous ex-boyfriend, Martin Sklar, becomes involved.
As with all her books, Davidson uses the setting as a supporting character. From its luxurious resort areas, to drug cartel run streets, Acapulco comes off live an aging once glamorous femme fatale who can turn on you at any time. She creates an interesting tension with the hotel that first serves as a sanctuary from the streets, but soon reveals as many creepy secrets; enough to rival Stephen King’s Overlook, as it soon turns into a prison.
When it comes down to it, it’s the character of Lily that makes the book an involving read. Davidson realizes that her fans know Lily has the ability to pull herself together and find strength in times of trouble, and she uses this to move the plot. What Lily is mainly confronted with are emotional wounds that haven’t fully healed. While the book can be read as a standalone, there will probably be more books featuring Lily in the future, it serves as the end of a trilogy for Lily by getting her to a certain point in her life. Davidson achieves this in a way both unexpected, and yet in the only way the character could find that moment of grace.
Evil in All Its Disguises is a pairing of plot and character. It has all the the trappings of a Hitchcockian thriller, with the gritty tone and dark psychology to rival your tougher noir. But any way you look at her, Lily Moore is a character I root for and hope to see more of in the future.