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The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Gary Gusick
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In a fast-paced, suspenseful debut novel for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, detective Darla Cavannah goes Deep South in pursuit of a merciless killer.
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.

About the Author

Gary Gusick is a retired advertising executive with over thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1498 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Alibi (18 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378,793 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-plotted Southern mystery... 3 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
When pro-life protestor Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is gunned down outside a women's health clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, Darla Cavannah has to team up with fellow detective and Elvis-impersonator Tommy Reylander, the worst cop in the department. Tommy is strongly pro-life and a member of Rev. Aldridge's church, and he's convinced that the clinic's doctor Stephen Nicoletti is guilty. Darla suspects there may be more to it than that, especially when $3,000 is found in Aldridge's car - and even more especially when she falls for Dr Nicoletti at first sight.

There's a lot to like about this book. Darla's character is well developed - having moved to Jackson with her husband, who's now dead, she is something of an outsider in this close-knit Southern community, though with some good friends who are able to give her the lowdown on the main suspects. Darla is still coming to terms with the death of her husband who, as a pro-footballer, was a local hero. The plot has several different strands and is complex enough to keep the reader guessing. It's well written and, although the subject matter is pretty strong, there's some humour to keep the tone fairly light. The other people in the police department play secondary roles to Darla, but both her boss Shelby and geeky IT specialist Uther are well-drawn and likeable characters.

I feel there are some problems with it however - perhaps because like Darla I'm not part of that community. All the pro-lifers are somewhat caricatured as ignorant rednecks or religious fanatics, while the pro-choice characters are intelligent and likeable, and clearly the ones we are meant to sympathise with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good new author 24 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
We have long enjoyed female thriller / crime writers who bring a different perspective to their male lead characters. Gary Gusick is one of the few who have gone the other way. In line with this the novel whilst telling the story of the murder of a high-profile minister in a Southern State also deals with issues of feminist choice and southern society from a Northern female detective's point of view.

This has been achieved quite successfully and does not interrupt the flow of the plot and side plots so that more chapters had been read before I knew it. Other reviewers have given plot outlines so I will not post any spoilers here. I urge you to read it fore yourself.

It is good to be able to recommend a new author, to be there at the outset, and eagerly await the second case for Darla.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great 22 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In a fast-paced, suspenseful debut novel for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, detective Darla Cavannah goes Deep South in pursuit of a merciless killer - is how the publisher's described this novel. But for me it wasn't very fast paced or very suspenseful. It was a good detective story, but that's all. I was very interested to read one of the first books from Alibi but feel it fell short of my expectations. The opening was very well written, (the killing of Rev Jimmy Aldridge) but the rest of the novel didn't live up to this great start. Darla spends a lot of her time picking up gossip about various suspects and colleagues from her girlfriends and in introspective thoughts about her dead husband. I would also have prefered more investigative work and less conflict between the police officers. Having said that, it was a solid read but at times it struggled to keep my interest. I received a copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Police Procedural 21 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I love murder mystery. When I was given the chance to review this one, I agreed. Although I hadn't read anything from this author before, it looked interesting. I am glad I agreed as I have found a great new author.

Darla Cavannah is a cop who is busy having a well earned time out from the force. She is called back to active duty to investigate the death of a local preacher. She is somewhat reluctant but is pretty much ordered back. Her particular approach is needed on this case. The preacher was a hard core anti abortionist and there is a long list of people who would want the Beloved Rev. Jimmy Eldridge dead. There are also a similar number of people who think he should be elevated to sainthood.

Darla is a well written character, believable, sharp and yet funny. She can deal with anyone and does not take prisoners in her quest to find the truth. There are a cast of characters all of whom are eccentric in their own way. Despite their eccentricities they are mostly loveable. The others are the ones you are meant to hate. If I say that one of the cops is an Elvis impersonator in his spare time this will give you the gist.

Despite the obvious humour at times this book also had me on the edge of my seat at other times. The plot is good and carries you along at a cracking pace. There are twists and turns aplenty and enough red herrings to stock a fairly large sea. I did not guess the end or the murderer at any point.

This is a book which would appeal to many different readers. Even for those who are not avid fans of crime would find this enjoyable. I would highly recommend this book.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in return for an honest review. The review I have given is based on my reading, and enjoyment of, the book.
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