Book Review: The Last Clinic, Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic

 

This review is written on behalf of the publisher, Random House Publishing Group – Alibi as provided from NetGalley.com for an Honest Review

The Last Clinic, Gary Gusick

Summary from NetGalley.com

“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.”

I absolutely love it when a book kicks off the action right the moment you begin to read, this one is just the same!  Pulls the reader in right from the off and the pace keeps moving from start-to-finish.  Darla, a woman recluse after becoming a widow at a young age, fighting the unknown past of her deceased husband’s indiscretions, finds herself thrust into a murder investigation.  Her target: an unknown assassin who murdered a town hero, a beloved Pastor of one of Jackson’s largest and wealthiest Churches.  Not only does she find herself chasing after her unwilling media-whore partner’s unwillingness to look beyond his own nose and possibly find the real culprit – moving out of his own small-town hero wanna-be status as the Governor’s nephew – she finds herself discovering more about Jimmy Aldridge and his “secret” hobbies and crusades. All the while the reader is thrust into the world of a hired-assassin going after Women’s health clinic doctors – a hired-hand who is being paid by a mysterious benefactor.

Is the murderer the town OB/Gyn who works at the Women’s Health Clinic Jimmy Aldridge picketed every-day?

Is there someone outside of Jackson looking for blood?

Is there someone inside of Jackson who wanted Pastor Aldridge dead?

Who is paying the hired-hand to murder all of those Dr’s across the country?

All of these questions and more get answered inside of this gripping novel!  The entire novel is told from the third person, giving insight into each character, allowing the reader to flesh out each individual as a person and use their character to help determine who the murderer actually is vs. who Tommy (the Elvis Impersonator) and the general public of Jackson, MI wants it to be.  Thoroughly gripping and mysterious, this novel brings forward many questions about the Right to Life Campaign running in the South (as someone who lives in SE NC I see it almost daily) and the very definite culture clashes between “Yankees” and Southerners (also someone who moved from the DC Suburbs to SE NC, I found this to be true until very recently), and the questions of Church and State separation.

This book is one I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading a good murder mystery, definitely looking forward to seeing more of Darla Cavannah and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office! Here’s hoping there’s more novels to come!

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