Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Review: The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic
By Gary Gusick
Publisher: Alibi
Published: Nov. 18, 2013
ISBN: 9780345548887

Amazon Synopsis:

Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah. 
When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the 

sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.
Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.

Book Links
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My Thoughts:

This is definitely not a book that fits within the Christian genre. The characters that claim to be Christians in this novel engage in behaviour that directly opposes good moral behaviour.

When Detective Darla Cavannah is called in to work the murder case of Reverend Jimmy Aldridge with Tommy Reylander, the department’s Elvis impersonator and Reverend’s parishioner, things are twice as tough for Darla. Not only does she have to solve the murder, she has to keep Reylander from tainting the case with his preconceived prejudices. Tommy is set to arrest and charge the Dr. Nicoletti, abortion clinic’s doctor for the murder even before all the evidence has been gathered.

Having worked in vice in Philadelphia, when Darla finds the large amount of cash in the glove compartment in the preacher’s vehicle, she knows there’s more going on. While Tommy tries to find more evidence against Dr. Nicoletti, Darla follows the money trail.

The author did an excellent job of creating a mystery with surprising events in the plot. There were really two mysteries that were connected in this story and it was interesting to see how things played out and how they ended up being connected.

I didn’t like that all the people who were supposed to be Christians in this book were all corrupt in some way, not living by the standards that Christians claim to live by. However, I suppose that since the leader of the church was corrupt it stands to reason that those under his leadership would follow in that way also.

I was surprised that Darla and Tommy did not work as a team. They both did their own investigating, each interviewing the same suspects on their own which seemed to me to be a waste of taxpayer’s money and aggravating for witnesses and suspects alike. It also didn’t seem to be the way things would have been handled realistically. On the other hand, if I were Darla, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend any time with Tommy either.

I enjoyed the mystery of this novel. It was quite intriguing. I enjoyed the character of Darla Cavannah. I am looking forward to reading the next novel by Gary Gusick.

I gave this novel a rating of 4 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Thank you to the publisher, Alibi, via NetGalley, for providing a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:
Gary Gusick is a retired advertising executive with over thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director. He is a multiple winner of virtually every national and international award for creative excellence in advertising.
The Last Clinic is his first novel. The Alzheimer's Patient Who Couldn't Forget, Gary's second novel, another murder mystery, is currently available on Amazon/Kindle.
Gary is married and lives in Jackson, Mississippi.

Contact the Author

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