The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick
ISBN: 9780345548887 (ebook)
ASIN: B00DACZTX8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 18, 2013
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Beloved evangelical minister, Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is shot while protesting in front of an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s up to female sleuth, transplanted Yankee hate crimes investigator, Detective Darla Cavannah to find his killer before the city comes apart at the seams. Unfortunately, her partner, Detective Tommy Reylander, is a lazy, self-aggrandizing Elvis impersonator and a member of Reverend Jimmy’s church. To make matters worse, Darla has a case of the hots for the prime suspect, the mysterious Dr. Stephen Nicoletti, the director of the clinic and one of the strongest woman’s rights advocates in Mississippi. Assisted by computer geek Uther Pendragon Johnson, Darla's search for the killer takes her from genteel northeast Jackson to a raunchy strip club south of town, and to an exclusive society in Natchez dedicated to reenacting the rituals of antebellum manhood. In the end, Darla discovers not only the killer, but something far more sinister.
Darla Cavannah is a detective in Jackson, Mississippi and a darned good one at that. Her boss, Sheriff Shelby Mitchell, knows that and overlooks the fact that she's a Yankee. Unfortunately she's assigned a partner, detective Tommy Reylander, for her current investigation that isn't so forgiving. Added to the mix of North-South hostility, a woman's place is in the home mentality, bigotry against a talented Black computer associate, and prejudice against an immigrant physician, is murder, politics, and a little romance. Will Darla and Uther be able to find all the answers before another murder takes place?
Mr. Gusick has taken the good and the bad from the New South and combined them into one fast-paced mystery. The Last Clinic provides a little bit of insight into the good old-boy South with characters like the murdered minister and members of his congregation. Some of the old bigotries and prejudices are seen in Detective Reylander's attitude and behavior toward Detective Darla Cavannah and computer associate Uther Johnson. The story takes a number of twists and turns that keeps the reader off-balance as the investigation leads to a strip club and a high class brothel, not to mention a trail of murders across the United States. The reader will be surprised to learn that Rev. Aldridge wasn't as pious as he appeared in public. I liked Darla and Uther and enjoyed reading about their interactions and investigative teamwork. I found The Last Clinic to be a quick and enjoyable read. Although I thought the ending was a bit bizarre (no I won't reveal the ending, read it for yourself!), I hope there will be more coming from Darla (and Uther) in the future.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."