FAMILY PRACTICE by Charlene Weir

FAMILY PRACTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Third in a series featuring widowed, still-grieving police chief Susan Wren of tiny Hampstead, Kansas, whose husband had held the job before her (Consider the Crows, etc.). The Barringtons are a prominent family in Hampstead--the five children of a local doctor and her mentally ill but critically acclaimed painter husband, both deceased. All but Ellen, the youngest, are doctors in town, their clinic and their lives presided over by control freak Dorothy, the oldest. Now Dorothy has been shot to death in her office, and 11-year-old Jen Bryant, in Susan's care for the weekend, feverish and awaiting the doctor's exam, has been shot too. Some graphically described emergency surgery saves Jen. Meantime, Susan and deputy Ben Parkhurst are confronted with tracking the murderer. An outsider looking for drugs? A family member threatened by the urgent meeting Dorothy had called for that night? Ellen, always the outsider, prowls her ramshackle house in the countryside, searching for her father's well-hidden gun, now missing, while Susan follows up an obscure newspaper item reporting the big-bucks sale of a Barrington painting. There are more killings to come, but finally it's Susan's attention to detail that brings the case to a slam-bang finish at the peak of a howling tornado. Weir's literary style has its graceless moments, but she keeps the tension level high, the heroine likable, and the puzzle's solution both ingenious and believable: the best of this author's outings so far.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-13592-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1995




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