Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Damage Control” as Want to Read:
Damage Control
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Damage Control

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  491 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Maggie Silver is solidly middle class, with a mortgage to pay and an ill mother to support. She does her best to scramble up the ladder at an exclusive, high-powered PR firm in Southern California, whose clients are movie stars and famous athletes. Now, Maggie is being asked to take on her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, distinguished statesman from Southern Cal ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Scribner (first published September 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Damage Control, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Damage Control

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,358)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aaron Lazar
Mar 27, 2012 Aaron Lazar rated it really liked it
Damage Control is a complex psychological thriller set in current day Los Angeles, peopled with vibrant characters battling fears of survival and loss, tautly stretched loyalties, and well-camouflaged villains.

The story begins when Maggie Silver--a young PR rep who's struggling to support her cancer-stricken mother and keep a house with an upside-down mortgage--is assigned to insulate Senator Henry Paxton and his family from the press by spinning the sordid facts of his aide's murder and protect
Nov 19, 2011 Hallie rated it really liked it
Denise Hamilton is on familiar turf with her standalone, "Damage Control." As in her reporter Eve Diamond series, Hamilton explores Los Angeles, this time the über-privileged element behind the walls of Malibu's gated community. Protagonist Maggie Silver is another scrappy outsider, determined to prove she's worth the $750 an hour The Blair Company, a high-power public relations firm, charges for her services. It's the kind of company that starlets who get caught buying heroin have on speed dial ...more
Carl Brookins
Nov 21, 2011 Carl Brookins rated it really liked it
More than just romance can often flower under the hot desert moon. In southern California, a lot more. In the artificially irrigated hothouse of perfectly sculpted bodies, overabundance of wealth, aggressive power and overweening ambition are a dangerous combination that leads, almost inevitably, to corruption. And it is corruption that’s at the heart of this complex, lyrically written tale, along with a strong dose of murder and mystery.

Maggie Silver grew up on the far side of the tracks. Now i
May 13, 2016 John rated it liked it
Back in the day, young sixteen-year-olds Maggie Weinstock and Anabelle Paxton were inseparable, even though Maggie was born on the wrong side of the tracks and Anabelle came from the rich and powerful Paxton dynasty. But then something went wrong at a beach party, and the two drifted apart.

Now, sixteen years and an unsuccessful marriage later, Maggie Silver is working at a high-powered crisis management/PR agency that helps the famous put the right spin on whatever mishaps might occur. She's loo
Taylor Mortsolf
Feb 16, 2016 Taylor Mortsolf rated it liked it
I thought this book was okay, I felt like it dragged on through most of the book. Only towards the end did it pick up some....
Sep 13, 2011 Marlyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, arc, e-galley
Maggie Silver's profession is damage control. She gets paid to clean up, or hide messes made by famous people. When we meet Maggie she's on her way to the home of an actor who has been accused of sexual assault by his children's nanny. Maggie's job is to spin the incident to make the nanny seem dishonest and mercenary in order to take the appearance of transgression away from the actor.

Before she has a chance to do much, however, her manager calls to tell her they have an even more important cli
Sep 04, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Really liked this book! I always dislike the first chapter or so when starting a new book because it takes a while to get engrossed in the story. With this book, though, I was immediately involved in the story and with the characters and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. The pacing of Damage Control was perfect. Small secrets or revelations were revealed here and there keeping the reader interested up until the last page. These characters have so many secrets and it was fun to se ...more
This review covers not only "Damage Control," but also Denise Hamilton's other book, "The Jasmine Trade" and her "LA Noir" short story collection which she edited.

I cannot say enough about the writing style of Denise Hamilton. She not only knows the streets of LA, she breathes life into them through her every written word. It's chilling to read her books. Denise has the skill of a fine surgeon, knowing just when and where to place the razor and how to cut to release that last shred of skin betw
Sheila Beaumont
This riveting novel, both mystery and political/psychological thriller, drew me in on the first page and kept my rapt attention all the way through to the end. The characters were exceptionally well drawn and believable, the story was filled with surprising twists and turns, and I found the portrayal of the PR "damage control" firm and its complex, tortuous machinations fascinating. This is a book I'll want to reread soon so I can savor Ms. Hamilton's excellent storytelling and writing without h ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I've read a couple of Ms. Hamilton's mysteries in her series, and picked this one up, interested to see what she would do in a stand-alone. I was pleasantly surprised. The book's middiling length keeps the plot's focus from straying too far (she had several threads that had the potential to divert the novel's focus) yet still allows for generous characterization. All too often in books of this sort, there is an imbalance in one direction or the other, but in "Damage Control" I didn't feel as if ...more
Ellen Crosby
Nov 22, 2011 Ellen Crosby rated it it was amazing
Terrific! Great lyrical writing, excellent story. LA lovingly described by someone who knows it well. Put it on your "must read" list.
Jun 21, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Our heroine, Maggie, does damage control.

Movie star caught on tape elbowing street person? Maggie's company moves in: the star's just given bocoodles of money for a homeless shelter; the man deliberately grabbed her.

Football player gets arrested for drugs? Her company puts the best face on it. Yeah, he was arrested, but he didn't know they were in his car. Easy enough to persuade one of his posse to take the fall. Not that Maggie's company does anything illegal. She hopes.

You get the picture. Pu
Molly Jo
Aug 25, 2011 Molly Jo rated it really liked it
Ever wonder who the people are that swoop in when celebrities, athletes, or political figures get into trouble? When laws are broken but someone doesn't want the whole truth to get out? That is Maggie Silver's job. She handles damage control in tight situations. The PR firm she works for decides how to spin statements to the press, wrangles the reporters, and puts the clients in the best light possible. This is what Maggie is called to do when Senator Paxton's aide is found murdered. Because of ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Damage Control, by Denise Hamilton, a-minus, Narrated by Vanessa Hart, Produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Maggie Silver does her best to scramble up the ladder at an exclusive, high-powered PR firm in Southern California whose clients are movie stars, famous
Athletes, as well as congressmen and famous corporation figures. She is asked to take on her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, distinguished statesman from Southern California, who also happens to be the father
Gloria Feit
Jun 07, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
On the very first page of the prologue to “Damage Control,” the terrific new book by Denise Hamilton, the reader meets high school student Maggie Weinstock. Fast forward sixteen years: Maggie is now Maggie Silver, divorced, and 33 years old. The crux of the plot stems from that earlier time frame, when Maggie, in her first two years of high school, met the Paxtons, who became the “golden ones” in her young life. Before “BFF” became part of the vernacular, their daughter, Anabelle, was that and m ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mature audiences only, fans of the mystery genre
Recommended to Sam by: school
This is the first Denise Hamilton book I've read. I certainly hope it won't be the last. This page turner kept me on my toes the whole time. Although, I figured out bits and pieces of who'd done it, I still had my doubts until the murderer was revealed. It's been a long time since I've read a mystery novel but this book was definitely a great re-initiation back into the genre.

I loved the message of the book about how we idolize people who have the "good life" but that things are not always what
Jul 26, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Damage Control is about a woman who works for a PR firm that cleans up after the powerful and wealthy. As the book opens, we get a small peek of her as a teenager and event that will forever change her life.

This was a pretty decent read. The beginning was a bit slow for me and it took me a while to connect with the main character, Maggie. But, she grows on you as her world spirals out of control. The story and the characters kept me engaged and always wondering what would happen next.

One of the
Brittany Rehage
Aug 24, 2011 Brittany Rehage rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable book, and pretty impressive for a first book from Hamilton. I really found myself interested in the murders and the cases surrounding them, as well as within the PR firm. She was able to create a very interesting and deep story, that not only works around solving a murder, but looks at the loyalties people face between when is right and wrong, between friends and self, and between loyalty to family over what is right and wrong. The many dynamics in the story make for a ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Monique rated it it was ok
I cant say that I disliked this book but it wasnt one of my favorites..I must say that it was a little too long for my taste as I dont think that it required 372 pages to get into this mystery/political drama but it wasnt a bad read, sometimes interesting and other times too involved with Adderall references, a hugh number of scent memories and a confusing mix of characters and sideplots but I can say I was surprised with the end murderer..Okay so this story begins with two sixteen year old best ...more
Oct 19, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
DAMAGE CONTROL by Denise Hamilton
Scribner (September 2011)
Review by Linda S. Brown

Author Denise Hamilton has a unique way of “drawing” various parts of Los Angeles: glamorous or gritty, her style is positively melodic. One thing is clear, however, you can’t take the investigator out of the author, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times. In Maggie Silver, protagonist of this new mystery, DAMAGE CONTROL , there are hints of Hamilton’s popular journalist character, Eve Diamond, from her ear
Sep 17, 2013 Maggie rated it really liked it
Maggie Silver handles damage control for the Blair Company, an elite Southern California PR firm. Blair’s clients include movie stars and famous athletes. When Senator Henry Paxton’s female aide is murdered Maggie must run damage control to contain the scandal. Her problem is that she was high school friends with Annabelle Paxton, the senator’s daughter. A long ago tragedy ended their friendship and now Maggie and Annabelle are forced to relive painful memories.

Damage Control by Denise Hamilton
Andy Plonka
Nov 01, 2011 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
The profession of "damage control" i.e. a PR firm that specializes in making the best of a bad situation for politicians or other celebrities that are "caught" by the media doing something that society frowns holds thw main impetus behind the plot of this book. The main protagonist who is a newish employee of the firm also has an interest in perfume,how different perfumes evoke old memories, and even some history of the perfume industry. That's the plus side. The minus side is that that same pro ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I was going to rate this three stars for most of the novel, because it was a pretty straightforward mystery, somewhat reminiscent of the TV show "Scandal" with the whole crisis management of politicians angle, but it was a little too floridly-written for my tastes. I just don't think real people talk the way a lot of the pople talk in this novel. Also, with all due respect to Ms. Hamilton, I don't give a shit about perfume other than it smells nice, and so every time her character went on and on ...more
Lil Gluckstern
This is a book that I could not put down. Having worked her way into the lofty towers of a public relations firm in L.A., Maggie Silver finds herself caught in a case of divided loyalties. The client is the politically ambitious father of an old friend. The victim is his attractive young female aide. The relationship between Maggie and her old friend has been severed by events long past which nevertheless influence the present. Meanwhile, Maggie is trying to navigate the convoluted paths of her ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Christina rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
The first half of this book was 3 star worthy -- there was an interesting premise and a fast-moving plot involving a "damage control" firm (a specialty within PR for big name clients who get involved in scandals) in LA. Political intrigue involving a senator, his messed up family, and the morally corrupt intersection of politics and PR. But then the main character started doing totally stupid stuff, apparently solely to advance the plot. I don't read much in the thriller/suspense genre so maybe ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Fast-paced, exciting thriller/mystery set in the world of PR in LA, which is an interesting and fun premise. This book is extremely well-written at times, more than your average thriller usually is. The main character, Maggie, is strong yet really flawed (Adderall-popping newbie at a big time PR firm) and she is thrown into a political scandal case involving the family of her former high school BFF. She gets to revisit that world that she wanted so badly to be a part of in 1993, and along the wa ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Brenda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
I found this book somewhat hard to follow. It is about a PR firm who do damage control for clients. When a US senator in CA is caught up in a scandle
when an aide of his is found dead. One of the PR people a young woman was friends with the senator's daughter in their teens is sent to "help" the family. She along with her company work to do damage control.
Diane Mcclure
May 02, 2013 Diane Mcclure rated it it was amazing
Ipicked up this book I preparation for a panel discussion at the LA Times Book Fest. I enjoyed Denise Hamilton's participation on the panel and look forward to her eve Diamond Series. This stand alone novel attracted me because of the role of social media. I too have been assisting others enter this world and this was the first novel that has included this aspect of our new digital time-stamped world. I loved this contemporary tale of Southern California. Family secrets held since childhood are ...more
Nov 17, 2011 Evelyn rated it it was amazing
Working for a high-profile PR firm in LA, Maggie Silver is assigned to Senator Henry Paxton after one of his aides is found murdered. Maggie was best friends with his daughter Annabelle 20 years ago when they were in high school, but they hadn't kept in touch since Annabelle was sent East to a private school her senior year. Now Maggie finds herself having to analyze present and past secrets to keep the media at bay.

This grabbed me from the beginning and kept the pace throughtout. Hamilton is ad
Leonna Chodos
Jan 24, 2012 Leonna Chodos rated it really liked it
This was my first time reading a novel by this writer and I must say I am a fan. I won this book in an author give-a-away and did not think it would be that engrossing, but since I won it and was determined to read it, but it did not take long to win me over. From the start I was intrigued with Maggie and Anabelle's friendship and the people they had become as adults. The story plot was well crafted and believable and the character development of not only the main characters, but also the second ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45 46 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Noir Favorites? 1 7 Sep 27, 2011 08:44AM  
  • The Manicurist
  • Consider This, Señora
  • City of Secrets
  • The River of Forgetting: A Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse
  • Speed Shrinking
  • A Spark of Death
  • Beyond Molasses Creek
  • Running from the Devil (Emma Caldridge, #1)
  • Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel
  • There Is No Hope Here
  • The Reconstructionist
  • A Simple Act Of Violence
  • Murder Most Persuasive (An Elizabeth Parker Mystery, #3)
  • Ashes to Dust (Las Vegas Mystery #2)
  • Beautifully Broken (#1)
  • So Damn Lucky (Lucky O'Toole, #3)
  • Tracking Shadows (Shadows of Justice, #4)
  • The Exceptions
Denise Hamilton is a Los Angeles-based writer-journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Wired, Cosmopolitan, Der Spiegel, and New Times. A reporter for the L.A. Times for ten years, she covered not only L.A. stories, but also the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and burgeoning youth movements in Japan. A Fulbright scholar, she taught in t ...more
More about Denise Hamilton...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Dune by Christian Dior. Luca Turin, who wrote a fragrance guide, calls it ‘the bleakest beauty in all perfumery.’ Here,” 0 likes
“Chaos by Donna Karan and smelled smoky, sweet, and spicy. I” 0 likes
More quotes…