Damage Control

Damage Control

by Robert Dugoni

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"Dugoni centers a high-speed murder mystery around infidelity and jealousy . . . the plot twists keep the pages turning." - Kirkus

"Fast-moving...will surprise even seasoned thriller readers." -Publishers Weekly

Attorney Dana Hill is used to managing a stressful life: she's one of the most successful lawyers at Strong & Thurmond, mother to a young daughter, wife to a busy, self-involved man. But when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her twin brother turns up beaten to death in an apparent robbery-gone-wrong in the same week, the careful balance of Dana's life is sent into flux. Agreeing with the police that this is more than just a simple botched burglary, she begins to sift through the pieces of her brother's life, a life she thought she knew as well as her own, to find out who would want him dead and why.

But bad things happen in threes, her mother has told her. When Dana discovers her husband cheating, she throws herself headlong into the investigation. Delaying cancer treatment, she teams with an intuitive detective to find the link between a one-of-a-kind earring found in her brother's bedroom and a mysterious girlfriend no one seems to be able to identify. But those connected to the murder are beginning to turn up dead, the evidence trail is growing cold and someone is masquerading as a police officer, cleaning up the details as they go along.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759518162
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 02/14/2007
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 53,562
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Robert Dugoni graduated from Stanford University with a degree in journalism and clerked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times befor attending the UCLA School of Law. He has practiced law in San Francisco and Seattle for 17 years. In 1999 he left full-time practice to return to writing and is a two-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Seattle.

Read an Excerpt

Damage Control

By Robert Dugoni


Copyright © 2007 La Mesa Fiction, LLC
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-57870-3

Chapter One

Redmond, Washington

Dr. Frank Pilgrim adjusted the flexible lamp clipped to the edge of his cluttered metal desk, but the additional illumination did not keep the typewritten words on the page from blurring. He set his wire-framed glasses above his bushy gray eyebrows and pinched the bridge of his nose. His eyes had reached their limit; they could no longer take the strain of a night reading small print.

Pilgrim glanced across the room, the details a blur. It wasn't too long ago he could watch the television screen atop the military- green filing cabinets without glasses. Now he could barely make out the cabinets, even with prescription help. His cataracts were getting worse. It didn't matter. With all the reality-TV crap being broadcast, he had long since relegated the television to background noise. It kept him company at night. He liked to listen to the Mariner baseball games, though the team continued to disappoint him. At seventy-eight, he didn't have many years left to experience a World Series in Seattle.

The telephone on his desk rang at precisely ten p.m, as it had every night for the past forty-eight years. "I'm just finishing up," he said, speaking into the old-fashioned handset. He rocked in his chair, bumping against floor-to-ceiling shelving cluttered with a lifetime of books and knickknacks from his and his wife's trips around the world. Their next stop wouldbe China in the summer. "Just a couple more minutes and I'll be done, dear."

His wife told him to be careful walking to his car, reminding him that he was an old man with a cane and an artificial hip and no longer the starting wingback at the U-Dub. "I'm as young as you are, beautiful," he said. "And as long as I still feel like I'm eighteen, I intend to act that way."

He told her he loved her and hung up, looking out through the wood-shuttered window of his ground-floor office. His fifteen-year-old BMW sat parked in its customary spot beneath the flood-lights' tapered orange glow. When he'd opened his practice, the lot had been surrounded by cedar and dogwood trees, but that was a good many years ago, when getting to Redmond required taking a ferry from Seattle across Lake Washington. With the construction of the 520 and I-90 bridges, the population on the east side of the lake had exploded. Office complexes and high-rise condominiums now shadowed his medical building.

Pilgrim rolled back his chair, closed the file, and carried it to the cabinet, pulling open the drawer to the file he'd angled as a marker and sliding it back in place. Then, as was also his routine-rain or shine-he slipped on his raincoat and hat that he used to think made him look like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, and reached to shut off the television. He hesitated at the lead news story.

"Robert Meyers was at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle today to give the keynote address at a conference on global warming."

Pilgrim turned up the volume and watched the charismatic young senator enter the convention center, shaking hands with some of the attendees.

"Meyers took the opportunity to continue his attacks on the current Republican administration's record on the environment."

The broadcast cut to a shot of Meyers standing at a podium behind a throng of microphones. "This is an issue whose time has come," he told the audience. "The people of the Pacific Northwest know this as well as any in the United States. The current administration's continued disregard for the environment is a further demonstration that it is out of touch with issues that will affect the future generations of this great country."

The story ended, and Pilgrim switched off the television. Curious, he raised his glasses back onto the perch above his eyebrows and used his finger to trace the faded letters on the white cards on the front of the file drawers. His daughter remained determined to modernize the practice, which was now hers, but to him the computer screens, hard drives, and printers throughout the rest of the office made it look like the control room of a spaceship. Not so in the sanctity of his four walls. All he needed were cabinets and the twenty-six letters of the alphabet-a filing system that had worked just fine before Bill Gates and computers. His daughter had relented, but only after he agreed to separate his active from his inactive files. In exchange, she promised not to ship any of his files to storage. His cabinets would leave his office with his body.

He stepped to the cabinet containing his closed files and slid open the third drawer down, straining to read the faded ink on the raised tabs. He pulled the file from the crowded drawer and raised the next in sequence to mark its place, then walked to his desk. Sitting, he heard the familiar sound of the bells indicating the front door had opened. At this time of night, he locked the front door, though the janitor had a key, and Emily occasionally came back to do paperwork after putting her two children to bed. She had her father's gene for long hours.

Pilgrim stood and pulled open his office door. "Emily, is that you?" The well-dressed man in the dark suit and raincoat stood like a giant amid the miniature chairs and tables. More curious than concerned, Pilgrim asked, "Can I help you?"

"Dr. Frank Pilgrim?" "Yes. How did you get in?" The man closed the outer door, locking it. "I brought a key." "Where did you get a key?"

The man approached. He did not answer. "What is it you want?" Pilgrim asked. "I have no money here, or anything that would even remotely be considered a narcotic."

The man reached into the pocket of his raincoat, pulled out a syringe, and removed the stopper at the end of the needle. "That's okay, Dr. Pilgrim. I've brought my own."

Pilgrim's eyes narrowed. He balled his fists. "My daughter is here. She's . . . she's in the office right over there." He called out. "Emily! Emily, there's a man here. Call the police."

The intruder stepped forward, displaying no concern. Pilgrim stumbled into his office and closed the door, but the man caught the edge and pushed it open, knocking Pilgrim backward. He closed the door behind him. Pilgrim scrambled for the telephone, but his momentum abruptly stopped, and he felt himself being pulled back by his collar. Instinctively, he turned. The man grabbed him by the throat and jabbed the hypodermic needle into Pilgrim's chest, depressing the plunger. A burning sensation spread quickly across Pilgrim's shoulders and down his arms and legs. Pain gripped him, constricting the flow of air to his lungs. He righted himself, then fell backward into the filing cabinet, shoving closed the drawer. The images blurred, distorted and unrecognizable. He lurched for the telephone and managed to grasp the receiver, but the strength in his legs dissolved and he collapsed across the desk, sliding to the floor, his arms pulling forty-eight years of clutter on top of him.


Excerpted from Damage Control by Robert Dugoni Copyright © 2007 by La Mesa Fiction, LLC. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Damage Control 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
sharonfgraves More than 1 year ago
This was my first Robert Dugoni novel, but it will not be my last. Everything about "Damage Control" was superb! The story was intriguing, and the characters and plot were wonderful. I really felt for the main character throughout the story and was so engulfed in the book that I read it in 2 days. The story is so tightly woven and the characters are so developed and believable. All novels should be as well written as this one. Definitely worth it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author and I couldn't put it down. The action is non-stop, the characters are well thought out and the suspense continued until the end. Don't pass up this one -- it's very well worth reading. Enjoy it -- as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story. I've read several of Mr Dugoni's books & he never disappoints. I am in the middle of this one & enjoying it immensely. I'd read anything he writes. His characters are very believable. Lots of action, never boring.
UNIONBEACHBUM More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read by Robert Dugoni and I'm hooked. Great story and characters and a stay up at night pace. I will be reading his others.
Coffee-lover More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, I could not put it down. I'll be checking out other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, could not put it down. Twists, turns, a great read. Wonderful, absolutely loved it. --K--
raspa More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of this author. This is the first book that I read by him but it won't be the last. I couldn't put it down. The action is non-stop, the characters are believable and the suspense lasts until the very end. It was a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to the next book by him.
SammamishSteve More than 1 year ago
The story takes numerous bobs and weaves as it works toward an unexpected ending. The threads of the plot come nicely together as the story reaches a crescendo. I'm looking forward to reading other books by Robert Dugoni.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book on the table at B&N, first time I had heard of author, so I went and bought his 1st book The Jury Master, I was only half way through it when I went ahead and bought this one and was not disappointed. It had me from page one and I had a hard time putting it down. Hope we see more from this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a great thriller. Dugoni is a major talent and any reader who love thrillers will love this book. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and hope Dugoni will continue future installments with the 2 main characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Dugoni has an excellent writing style and has introduced several intriguing characters (Dan Hill, William Welles, Carmen, Michael Logan). The book just sucked me in from the beginning and held me. Dana Hill has a rough time with her brother being murdered, her job in jeopordy, going through a breast cancer procedure, and having a cheating husband. She stumbles on an earring that may be the key to her brother's death. This search for the truth becomes her driving force and makes all her other troubles secondary. The author just lets the plot unfold without some of the cheap gimmicks imposed by many of the other current thriller writers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful woman tangles with danger when she tries to piece together the puzzle of her twin brother's murder. I found the ending, with its story lines all tied up in pretty bows, a bit sappy, but hey, it's fiction, not real life. All in all, the story makes for enjoyable reading, and I enjoyed the Seattle setting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book I really enjoyed from start to finish. Held your interest and think it's his best book yet.
lyndieb More than 1 year ago
Book Title Damage Control Book Author Robert Dugoni Publisher Warner Books Pub. Year 2007 Pages 401 Genre Fiction -Women lawyers, Murder Investigation My Rating Ease of Read quick read ISBN 978-0-446-57870-7 I was attracted to this book because... I’m going to be at a writing workshop with Bob this fall and I wanted to get a taste for his writing. I’m now a fan. This book was about A successful female attorney faces two difficult life challenges within a very short time; a devastating medical diagnosis and the murder of her twin brother. Solving her brother’s murder becomes her primary focus in this whirlwind adventure. Things I liked about this book Dawn Hill, the protagonist, faces unbearable challenges with courage and determination. Characters who take on life’s challenges with gusto are my favorite and I will root for them to the end. Why you should read this book This book touches on the stress of a diagnose of breast cancer on the survivor and their family. So it would be a great book to read in October. In addition, the grief of suddenly losing a sibling is hard enough, but loosing a twin is something which is almost impossible for others to understand. Throw in a troubled marriage and a murder to solve, well, what more could you want. This book lived up to the back cover copy Robert Dugoni is considered an upcoming author who brings a great plot, great characters and intensely sharp writing. Robert Dugoni is a New York Times Best Selling Authors Note to my Christian Fiction Reader followers: This book is from the General Market
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time reading this author. Cannot put it down. Will finish in two days. I definitely will read more from this author. This is how books should be written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Interesting, intriguing, well written. Chaaracters well developed and good visualuation. You will find yourself immeresed in all the drama which was suspenseful and well detailed. I hope you find this review helpful in making your choice to purchase this book.
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