Lightning: A Fred Carver Mystery

John Lutz, Author Henry Holt & Company $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4379-2
Heat-seeking Florida PI Fred Carver (Burn, Torch, Spark, etc.) tackles the highly flammable abortion issue in his searing 10th outing. Carver's live-in lover, Beth Jackson, who is black, discovers that she is pregnant and, after much thought, decides that she will proceed with the pregnancy. When she stops by the Women's Light Clinic to cancel her appointment, she passes through a gauntlet of anti-abortion protesters from Operation Alive. An explosion rips the clinic just after she enters-killing a doctor and a patient and injuring Beth, who loses her baby. Investigations by the FBI and the local police, headed by William McGregor (surely one of the most unsavory police officers in the genre) result in an early arrest of a young and fanatical member of Operation Alive. On his own, Carver investigates Operation Alive's leader, Rev. Martin Freel of the Church of the Clear Connection, and talks with the widow of the slain doctor, with a surviving physician determined to carry on the clinic's work and with other witnesses and suspects. Another bomb explodes at another clinic, and a sadistic, Bible-spouting killer surfaces. Behind the intransigent and hackneyed rhetoric of both sides, Carver finds venality aplenty as he and Beth attempt to come to terms with their loss. Veteran novelist Lutz ties some nifty twists into his plot, which moves quickly towards a final deadly confrontation. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1996
Release date: 07/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-4532-1899-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-449-01109-6
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