By Gary Gusick
The last clinic is the first in a series of Darla Cavannah crime mysteries. Darla, the star, and the only character fully developed in the first book, is a police detective returning to duty after a six month break following the death of her husband, Hugh, a former star football player.
Darla is the smart, out of town female detective, that people turn to when the truth needs uncovering. She is supported in this book by Tommy, a detective who is infamous for his Elvis impersonations, “thank you, thank you very much”; Shelby, the sheriff with political ambitions, and enough smarts to back Darla over Tommy, and Doctor Stephen who runs a womens health clinic.
The books are set in the deep south of Mississippi, where the cultural views and values have not changed in centuries.
This book focuses on the murder of church minister Jimmy Aldridge, an avid campaigner against abortions. It is will protesting he is shot down and murdered. Detective Tommy is quick to find his man Dr Stephen, however with much adapt and smarts, Darla outwits him, proving each of Tommy suspects are in turn innocent. As expected she solves not one, but two cases, catching her man in the process.
Darla’s humour is one of the best parts of the books. It is dry and witty, passing over the heads of some of her man counterparts.
This is a classic murder mystery, and has the potential for many books to follow. It needs some further development of some of the supporting characters, which should happen in future books.
I will be looking out for Gary Gusick’s next book.
Heath writes reviews regularly for newspapers and magazines.