THE ABORTIONIST’S DAUGHTER by Elisabeth Hyde

THE ABORTIONIST’S DAUGHTER

KIRKUS REVIEW

Who killed the opinionated abortion provider?

Hyde (Crazy as Chocolate, 2002, etc.) opens with a heap of backstory baggage. Dr. Diana Duprey, when not performing controversial terminations at her Center for Reproductive Choice, dominates a family. Diana’s marriage to Frank, a quietly seething attorney working in the DA’s office, is unraveling; her Down’s syndrome son Ben is dead; and sexually explicit pictures of her 19-year-old daughter Megan are circulating on the web. When the doctor’s body is found in her lap pool, the blame is directed at Frank, sententious pro-choice campaigner Steven O’Connell, Megan’s creepy ex-boyfriend Bill (who took the nude pictures) and pro-life activists who have been bombarding the doctor with hate mail. As events move forward, implausibilities stack up. For example, O’Connell had sought help from Duprey in a standoff concerning his son’s girlfriend’s pregnancy and her intention to have the baby, against her parent’s wishes. Frank, after a violent argument with Diane on the night of the murder, had visited a porn merchant and bribed him to take the pictures of Megan down from his website. An attraction develops between Megan and Huck, one of the detectives assigned to the investigation, which gets Huck dropped from the case. Nevertheless, both he and Megan are even more implausibly present at the interview during which Bill, under no duress whatsoever, confesses to the murder, bringing an oddly shaped mystery to a thrill-free conclusion.

Sensational, like the book’s title, but not quite on target.

Pub Date: June 23rd, 2006
ISBN: 0-307-26366-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2006




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