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Book Review – The Abortionist’s Daughter

Nice inflammatory title, yes? Chalk one up for the marketing department.

The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elizabeth Hyde is, on the surface, a whodunnit of the murder of Dr. Diana Duprey, women’s clinic owner and provider of abortions. Underneath it’s a depiction of familial relationships, and an attempt to illustrate that not all is proverbially black & white in this incindiary debate.

As a murder mystery, I wasn’t impressed. I guessed the perpetrator pretty early on, and I’m not a genius at such things. If I read a mystery, I’m there for entertainment so I don’t strain myself to deliver a conclusion.

Character-wise, Hyde did a more than satisfactory job. Diana, her husband the local DA, and their college freshman daughter Megan were depicted with sympathy and veracity. The tempestuous adolescent mother-daughter relationship was almost painful in its cruel reality.

Why do authors feel the need to insert some sort of romantic entanglement in these things? And why is always the cop and the victim’s daughter, or potential murder suspect, or some other individual that makes the relationship taboo? And why, Oh God WHY, does it have to be the young woman and the older man??? At the first mention of an attraction, I gagged, and continued to do so throughout the book. Beyond overplayed, it’s simply boring and in my opinion, detracts from the main plot.

But what do I know? Perhaps her publisher pressured her into the sub-plot; stranger things have happened. Whatever the case, let’s hope, for all our sake, that Hyde has recovered from this annoying inclination and sticks to what she does best.

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