Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Elizabeth Hyde & Seek this book out

Elizabeth Hyde's new novel,The Abortionist's Daughter,is not due until June in bookstores but I couldn't wait that long to recommend it to folks looking for a smart summer read. The title may cause many to flinch and move on which would be a shame,since they would only be depriving themselves of one of the better books to come out this year.

The story takes place in a small Colorado community where the murder of Dr. Diana Duprey,director of the local(and controversal)abortion clinic,makes quite a few waves. She was found dead in her lap pool with a suspicious bruise on her head and plenty of suspects to go around,from her husband Frank,a prominant attorney in the DA's office who had a loud argument with Diana that night to the Rev. Steven O'Connell,leader of the protest group who pickets Diana's offices daily and who enlisted her help with his family's own unexpected teen pregnancy probelm.

However,it is Megan,the daughter of the title,who becomes the heart of the novel. She is torn up emotionally,with conflicting feelings of guilt and anger towards her mother(it doesn't help matters that Megan had had a fight with her mother that morning with some nasty parting words that can never be taken back),tension with her father who is hiding more than one secret and the cameo appearances by Bill,her semi-stalking ex-boyfriend,just add to the simmering stewpot of stress that threatens to engulf her. Much of this is what leads her to Huck ,one of the investigating officers who wants to comfort her and yet knows he has to keep his distance-not just professionally but also due to Carolyn,his girlfriend who gets called out of town at one of the worst possible moments.

This may seem like your typical thriller but we're more in Snow Falling On Cedars territory than John Grisham/James Patterson country. Hyde is never melodramatic with her characters or their situations;she develops a strong sense of reality and tenderness that enhance the narrative flow and keep you not only interested in whodunit but what will happen next in the lives of Megan and Huck once the killer is found and it's back to somewhat regular life. It's the everyday vibe that hums thru the chapters that elevates this book from just another good CSI/Law & Order episode status to a memorable take on how some situations go from bad to worse by following the age-old adage of "Ignore it and it'll go away".

The Abortionist's Daughter is one of the most compelling novels about family you'll read this year and I hope that it recieves all the praise and glory it truly deserves. I hope to start the fanfare here and now but more importantly,put this book on your Must Read list-you won't regret it.

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