What works best in this novel is not the issue of abortion (duly presented and dissected from both sides) nor the revelation of the murderer but the family backstories, which reveal Hyde at her best. The dialogue between Megan and her mother is biting, edgy and dismayingly real. "Have fun killing babies," Megan tosses off as a parting zinger the last time she sees her mother. So, too, are the flashback scenes between Frank and his wife, a couple on the brink of divorce. Their fights have at times escalated to brief flurries of violent behavior.
The Washington Post
Dr. Diana Duprey-abortion clinic director, wife of local Colorado DA Frank Thompson and mother of 19-year-old college freshman Megan-has plenty of enemies, so when her body is found floating in the exercise pool of her garden tour-featured house, the list of suspects is long. Aside from abortion opponents and distraught parents, there were the arguments overheard between Frank and Diana, and Megan and Diana shortly before. The coroner, a woman with whom Frank had had an affair, won't do the autopsy, and a man harboring a grudge against Frank takes her place. Meanwhile, Megan finds herself attracted to Huck Berlin, the policeman assigned to the case, and Huck finds Megan in various compromising positions. Former U.S. attorney Hyde (Crazy as Chocolate) describes Megan's contradictory, confused emotions without oversimplification ("Have fun killing babies" were Megan's inadvertent last words to her mother). Hyde also jumps back in time, delving into Diana's work at the clinic and her feelings about it, as well as the lives and feelings of her clients. Rather than generating suspense, the murder provides a frame for the turbulence in and around a woman propelled by idealism and strongly held beliefs. Look for this book to get play as South Dakota's challenge to Roe v. Wade wends through the courts. 150,000 announced first printing. (June 23) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
On a chilly December evening, Colorado abortion clinic founder Dr. Diana Duprey is found dead beside her home pool. Who killed her? The clues are few but the suspects are legion-Diana's high-profile career had inflamed feelings on both sides of the Roe v. Wade aisle. Among the suspects are the minister whose pro-life group regularly picketed her clinic; the woman who left hate messages on her voice mail; her daughter, with whom she'd argued that morning; and her husband, whose litany of resentment and rejection grew daily. The police have a tough time sifting through the sensational publicity and intricate interrelationships of these small-town, high-powered people to answer this fundamental question. Hyde's (Crazy as Chocolate) latest novel deftly probes the many daily pains inflicted in relationships and delicately examines the sacrifices of her characters as they rebuild their lives amid swirls of ethical dilemmas. This is an exceptionally well-written book that pulls the reader nicely along right up until the surprise ending. Recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/06.]-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp. Lib., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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. Sensational, like the book's title, but not quite on target. First printing of 150,000
“A smart and powerful thriller."
—Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives
“Arresting. . . . Astute. . . . Hyde is an author who should be with us for some time.”
—Anita Shreve, The Washington Post Book World
“Darkly witty. . . . [The Abortionist’s Daughter] accordions out into a suspense story and a comic noir, a novel of manners and an improbable romance. . . . Striking.”
—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)
“In keeping with the truly best writers, Hyde examines both sides of the issue, but offers only questions that probe deep into the secret hearts of readers everywhere. For answers, they will have to turn to themselves. . . . Compelling and timely. . . . A must-read.”
—The Denver Post