The Abortionist's Daughter
Review: "... some people had the power to dig themselves into the very deepest part of your brain and stay there until you paid them the attention they demanded."
This passage, from Elisabeth Hyde's stellar mystery The Abortionist's Daughter, a complex character study of people brought together by the murder of Diana Duprey, an abortion provider for a small town outside Denver, can be applied to most of the people in the book and is one of the reasons this is such an intriguing story. As the police investigate the murder, the relationships Diana had with her family and associates are carefully disclosed in a way that adds credibility to the plot and depth to the characters. The conclusion, though not unexpected, is nonetheless startling and dramatically revealed.
The title is something of a misnomer, and unfortunately tends to be erroneously suggestive. Though the daughter plays a prominent role in the book, the title implies the story is about her. It isn't. Furthermore, the use of the word "abortion" in any form is provocative. Some prospective readers may shy away thinking that the story is about abortion. It isn't. When a detective on the case calls the victim an "abortionist", her daughter quickly corrects him: she was an "abortion provider". It was her profession, but Hyde wisely doesn't take sides on the issue primarily because it is largely a plot device, to set up a professional and personal relationship between Diana and the founder of the town's pro-life coalition. It's unclear why either the author or the publisher chose this title as it unnecessarily detracts from an otherwise outstanding work of mystery fiction.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided an ARC of The Abortionist's Daughter for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Abortionist's Daughter: Denver, Colorado
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The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde
Publication Date: June 2006
List Price: $23.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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