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LIGHTNING by John Lutz

LIGHTNING

By John Lutz

Pub Date: July 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8050-4379-9
Publisher: Henry Holt

 Because she's decided to cancel her appointment at the Women's Light reproductive clinic and have Fred Carver's baby after all, black reporter Beth Jackson is on hand to get injured in a bombing that kills Wanda Creighton and Dr. Harold Grimm. Carver, without a client, then hunkers down to get the goods on Adam Norton, the auto mechanic who was seen running out of the clinic moments before the blast, and on Operation Alive, the militant anti-abortion group that's condemning member Norton's tactics while lending him their lawyer. Norton's wife tells Carver that the police have no business persecuting her husband, since although he'd fully intended to bomb some abortion clinic, he hadn't actually gotten around to planting the bomb yet. Nate Posey, Wanda's fiancÇ, wants to hire Carver, but Carver wonders if Posey didn't plant the bomb himself for Wanda's insurance. Meantime, a cop assigned to guard the hospitalized Beth has been beaten to death at the side of her bed, and Carver's noticed some utterly unexpected couples emerging: an FBI agent and another bomb survivor, Dr. Grimm's widow and the head of Operation Alive. Carver's tenth outing is deft, evenhanded, and more deeply felt than his last few (Burn, 1995, etc.), though most of the mystery's left till the very end. Mid-level Lutz.