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The Last Clinic

(Darla Cavannah Mysteries #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  141 reviews
In a fast-paced, suspenseful debut novel for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, detective Darla Cavannah goes Deep South in pursuit of a merciless killer.

Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff
ebook, 264 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by Alibi (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Start your review of The Last Clinic (Darla Cavannah Mysteries, #1)
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

The setup
It's been six months since Detective Darla Cavannah's husband, Hugh, died in a car crash. She's roused from her leave of absence when her boss, the county sheriff, calls her in to help with a controversial murder case. She's "partnered" with another detective who's more infamous for being an Elvis impersonator than his investigative skills. Set in Jackson, Mississippi, the cultural views of the town share equal space with the hard facts of the
“People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.” - Dave Barry

While reading this debut novel, I couldn’t seem to get that particular thought out of my head, as it cycled on rinse and repeat. And I couldn’t help this one either: Men seem to have no problem telling women what to do with their bodies. Now I’m not saying what is right or wrong about the above quote, or whether abortion is a sin or not, and whether or not women should have the
The Last Clinic- (Darla Cavannah Mysteries) by Gary Gusick is a 2013 Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I have started and stopped with this book several times, which of course is a strong indicator of how things eventually turned out, once I finally resolved to finish it once and for all.

First of all, I think the author was brave by centering the crime around such a hot button issue as abortion, which may have
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Lisa Gardner and maybe John Grisham
When a much loved preacher and anti-abortion campaigner is gunned down outside a women's health clinic, the police immediately look at the doctor as the most likely suspect. Dr Stephen Nicoletti, is an Ob/Gyn and one of the few doctors in Mississippi who will perform abortions.

It's left to Philadelphia PD transplant, Detective Darla Cavannah to sift through the evidence and find the killer. But with an incompetent partner who is determined to push his own anti-abortion agenda gunning for the
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have to hand it to the author of The Last Clinic for basing the plot around a controversial topic. I am doubly impressed that Mr. Cusick is able to write such a good thriller without getting bogged down in the issue of right to life vs. Pro-choice and being fairly balanced in his approach. Actually, this mystery isn't so much about abortion rights as it is about the price of extremism. Or it is simply a tight and witty mystery that keeps your attention to the end. Take your pick. Or take both. ...more
Fun read with lots of humor. Darla is a former Philadelphia homicide cop who moved down to Jackson, Mississippi following thetermination ofher football star husbandwho was killed in a car accident soon thereafter.She now works for the Hinds County Sheriff's department.Shelby, the Sheriff, asks her to come back from leave and investigate the murder of a local religious icon who has beenshotgunnedin front of the abortion clinic where he was protesting and harassing clinic staff and patients.

When the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge, pillar of his community is murdered while protesting outside an abortion clinic, detective Darla Cavannah is called on head the investigation. No small feat, considering she is not only an “outsider,” but a female Yankee! (Gasp!) Who should she get as a partner, but the worst Elvis impersonator around, which means her work is cut out for her, for sure! High on the suspect list is the doctor who runs the clinic, the charismatic Stephen Nicoletti, who just happens ...more
Liz Barnsley
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Coming November 18th From Random House Publishing Group – Alibi

Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley for the review copy.

Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read! I love mysteries, especially well written. So many twists and turns, keeps you guessing and you get teeny tiny hints as to what is going on. I loved Uther, I hope his story continues. There is actually 2 different murders and it was crazy trying to figure out who did what and why. I would love to read more about Darla and the people in Jackson Mississippi. The characters were believable, even the Elvis look alike, which I did not like. The only thing I felt was a little too hasty, ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a free download of "The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery" by Gary Gusick through Net This is a fast-paced mystery suspense novel, set in the deep south, Jackson, Mississippi. This novel had a little bit of everything; mystery, suspense, cover-ups, conspiracy, murder, romance and humor. I really enjoyed it, and I feel it will appeal to a wide audience.

Reverend Jimmy Aldridge removed a protest sign on a cross and placed it at the entrance to the Jackson Women's Health
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few murder-mysteries that I've read that successfully incorporated humor and truly captured the essence of the location - Mississippi. Often, a mystery novel focuses so much on the who, what, when and why of the murder, that it often becomes almost like reading a news story. The Last Clinic, however, is entertaining. The characters are unique and well-developed and support the plot, they don't take it over. With very sharp dialogue, this book is easy to get caught up in and I ...more
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A reverend who is a regular protester outside the local women's clinic is one day shot dead. Darla Cavannah is on the case. There are plenty of twists and lots of suspense, even a bit of humor. I thought this was well-written and held my attention right until the end. The romance was a little flat for me, but it's not a romance so I wasn't too worried about it. The ending took me by surprise, but made complete sense. Just right for a good mystery. And Darla was tough with a dry sense of humor ...more
Barbara Tobey
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some really great lines are in this book. "Freedom of choice does not insure that we will always end up happy with the choice we made." As well as some sharp come backs. "Not unless you want to get him killed." "An admitted moral dilemma." Clever mystery with lots of suspects, but with a surprising twist. I should have paid closer attention. It made sense. I received an ARC for my honest review.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
ARC from NetGalley

Very well done! One of those books that are hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good detective mystery.
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A good murder mystery that kept me guessing. I didn't figure it out until 81% through the story. The style reminds me of Ty Hutchinson's work with a little less levity. Definitely worth reading.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Gary Gusick's The Last Clinic is an intriguing mystery that is full of unexpected twists and turns. Pennsylvania transplant Darla Cavannah's murder investigation of a popular minister soon uncovers scandalous secrets and a shocking conspiracy. With time running out and a man's life at stake, will Darla put all of the pieces of this puzzling mystery together before it is too late?

A colorful cast of interesting characters is certainly one of the highlights of this entertaining and
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**The Last Clinic** by *Gary Gusick*
There are some topics, whether they are handled in fiction or non-fiction, that are difficult to be objective about. Or at least that's the case for me and the topic of abortion and abortion clinics. Which is why I was surprised that the topic was handled so well in **The Last Clinic**. For me, this is not a black or white subject. It's a matter between the pregnant woman and whomever she chooses to include in her decision making process. It is none of my
Lara Girdler
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love it when a book kicks off the action right the moment you begin to read, this one is just the same! Pulls the reader in right from the off and the pace keeps moving from start-to-finish. Darla, a woman recluse after becoming a widow at a young age, fighting the unknown past of her deceased husband’s indiscretions, finds herself thrust into a murder investigation. Her target: an unknown assassin who murdered a town hero, a beloved Pastor of one of Jackson’s largest and wealthiest ...more
Jay Kenobi
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When beloved evangelical minister, Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is shot while protesting in front of an abortion clinic in Jackson, the residents start clamouring for the arrest of the clinic's surgeon, Dr Stephen Nicoletti.

Detective Darla Cavannah is unwillingly pulled back from compassionate leave to solve the case before the city falls into complete chaos. Unfortunately her partner is a lazy, self-aggrandising Elvis impersonator who just happens to be a devoted member of Rev Jimmy's flock &
Marika Charalambous
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
First reviewed on my blog:

The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick (the first in the Darla Cavannah Mystery series) is one of the best books that I’ve read this year coming from an author who doesn’t have too many books under his belt.
When I was perusing last week the virtual bookshelf at NetGalley for something new to read, this title caught my attention, not in the least because it is the first book in a mystery series. I hate to read a book that is part of a
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2013
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.
This was a pretty cool murder mystery. You have detective Darla who has gone though something traumatic which was the lost of her famous husband. With that in mind she has not been working big cases. That is until she is called into a big case that deals the a Reverend and abortion clinics.

Now being as I do not believe abortion is right I do believe it is a person's choice. With abortion playing a big part within this story I was glad
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing

What a page turner! Definitely recommend!
The story centres on an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi – a centre which, in the real world, has attracted much media attention this year.
But don’t be put off by the abortion theme – this book is not going to try and convince you one way or the other on such an emotive issue. It is handled superbly well and is simply a good, old fashioned whodunit with lots of very colourful characters to entertain you.
We even get a couple of characters with a
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abortion Clinics are the Focus of Murder

Reverend Jimmy Aldridge, beloved by his congregation, is killed in a drive by shooting when picketing an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi. Darla Cavanagh, the widow of one of Misissippi's football greats, is on leave recovering from his death. The sheriff asks her to return to her job as detective and take over the investigation of Reverend Aldridge's murder.

Things are not as straightforward as they seem. Darla is saddled with a partner who is not
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review
ARC copy for review.

What a pleasant surprise! A well-above-average murder mystery thriller with lots of interesting turns. Darla Cavannah (this is the spelling of the name throughout the text, so it's incorrect above and on the title page of the digital ARC I read) is a Yankee in Jackson, Mississippi and a detective to boot, working the case of a murdered abortion protester. Her partner (in name only) is an Elvis impersonator, and her only real help is a college student/web wizard with the
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick is an entertaining detective story. Set in the deep south in Jackson, Mississippi, the story has a little bit of everything: mystery, murder, romance, and humor. As the story opens Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is murdered by a drive-by shooter in front of a women’s health clinic. Aldridge is an anti-abortion activist and his murder has the local community in an uproar and the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, is the prime suspect. Detective Darla Cavannah, a hate ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Very impressive! Mr. Gusick has written a tightly scripted, well plotted, and very engaging first novel. The characters are complete people, with fully formed personas. They storyline is believable, but has enough puzzles to keep you interested. There is a romantic backstory that doesn't get in the way. The language has a realistic feel to it, but never gets so blue that it would offend the average reader. In short this book has it all.

The Last Clinic is a mystery with a strong moral stance. It
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, mystery
The Last Clinic is a murder mystery that starts with the murder of Reverend Jimmy Aldridge. He's much loved by his flock of followers and during his life was publicly anti-abortion. He wants the local clinic closed down and is instrumental in a bill that will make this happen.

Darla Cavannah is a widow and a detective. She returns to duty to investigate the reverend's death and to try to make sure the actual murderer is charged, not the doctor from the clinic whom everyone is gunning for. The
Madison Warner Fairbanks
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick

Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is murdered. Darla Cavannah, a detective, is on the case. While some may believe Jimmy's killer is "that doctor fella", Darla is investigating why a preacher would have $3,000 in cash in his glove box.

Southern style phrasing, topics and character interaction. "We're fixing to".
The dialog and framing of this book was truly interesting in its southern history and attitudes. I liked the ongoing small tells that indicated there was more going on
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Last Clinic is not just a fast paced, compelling read, it is a politically timely novel that was hard to put down.

In a small southern town an obnoxious pro-life preacher is shot dead near the towns only abortion clinic. It's a dastardly deed to those who have tried hard to shut the clinic down, even though it provides mostly health care services for women, rather than abortions (sound familiar?). In any case, the police department is under pressure to solve the crime quickly, and the police
ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥
I really hope this continues as a series because it was highly enjoyable with a diverse characters. There's the Tommy Reyland who is an Elvis impersonator and mayor's son as well as the by-the-book-cop, Uther the tech geek/research guy and then there's Darla, the detective who looks for more than what's obvious. The dynamic could go wrong but this was nailed right. Tommy could have been written in a very OTT way but it didn't, you gotta appreciate that he's a cop and not just some shallow guy, i ...more
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Gary Gusick is a former advertising executive with more than thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director. He is a winner of numerous national and international awards for creative excellence in advertising. The Last Clinic is his first novel.

Other books in the series

Darla Cavannah Mysteries (3 books)
  • Officer Elvis (Darla Cavannah Mysteries, #2)
  • The Legacy (Darla Cavannah Mysteries, #3)