Author: Gary Cusick
Published: 2013 by Alibi, an imprint of Random House
Read: December 2013
Categories: Fiction, crime
Why it made it to the top of the pile: It's been a while between detective novels
Trivia Tidbit: After 30 years in advertising, this is Gary Cusick's first novel
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy courtesy the publisher and Netgalley
I found this book an interesting contrast to the true-crime novel Murder in Mississippi, which I finished reading about a week before The Last Clinic, and which also takes place in Jackson. The people and attitudes described by John Safran in his book added a layer of insight into this one.
Women's health clinics are popular settings for high-emotion crime stories. The subject of right-to-life versus right-to-choose is a hot button issue and serves to immediately establish and elevate tension. This is true for The Last Clinic. Religion, conservative Southern values, insular societies, feminism and racism all blend into the fabric of this tale. Darla is a likeable character, though one day it would be interesting to see a dumpy, unattractive detective take on the boy's club and win. This is not that novel, but it is an enjoyable read that kept me turning pages.