Read The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavanaugh Mystery by Gary Gusick Online


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 ShelIn 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 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 Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah.   When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.   Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin....

Title : The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavanaugh Mystery
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780615625324
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 354 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavanaugh Mystery Reviews

  • Jonetta
    2019-03-10 08:58

    Originally posted on The Book NymphoThe setupIt'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 investigation.The issuesThe murder victim is the renowned Rev. Jimmy Aldridge who most recently has been holding vigil each morning outside the local women's health clinic in a pretty outrageous manner. And, it's where he was murdered in the early morning hours. The politics around the case are crazy, heightened even more because of a controversial abortion bill before the legislature that was destined for failure before the Reverend's murder. It now may gain sympathy traction as the prime suspect is the clinic's doctor, Stephen Nicoletti. There's a real rush to judgment to accuse, try and convict him. What I liked about the storyI really liked Darla who is smart, has a killer wit and knows how to manage the politics. She's a former Philadelphia detective, accepted here because she was married to the town's darling, a former NFL quarterback but she's still considered an outsider. Her humor is wry and she doesn't take the bait from the idiot detective she's partnered with on the case. Darla adeptly maneuvers around him, knowing when to let him take the credit for her investigative work and when to set him down a peg. She's skilled and followed the twists, turns and surprises to a stunning climax. There was a parallel subplot that intersected seamlessly at the right moment. And, there's a romance, which was a bit of a (nice) surprise.I also liked how a controversial, lightening rod topic was managed, with friends and neighbors co-existing pretty well on opposite sides of the issue. The story managed to stay away from taking a particular stand and representing the issue through the eyes of the characters. It was really well done. The bottom lineThe best mysteries/suspense stories have to be well paced, with relevant conflicts, interesting characters and believable plots and/or procedurals. This book met all that criteria and more. The writing is nimble without wasted action or story. The color of the Southern culture is perfectly captured without relying heavily on caricature or stereotype. It's a really good story and I'm looking forward to the next book, especially as there are secondary characters I'd like to know better. (I received an ARC from NetGalley)

  • Robert
    2019-03-22 01:38

    “People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.” - Dave BarryWhile 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 right to choose. But I do think when you only see one side of the issue, and you can’t even stare at the opposing party on the other side of the fence without getting into a spitting or shouting match, then you might want to take a good, hard look at yourself and ask yourself what you really stand for, and why you’re even standing there in the first place. Empathy isn’t just some word that you look up in the dictionary, and you completely discard it in your daily life. We’ve had plenty of leaders who’ve lacked empathy in our modern world: Hitler and Stalin certainly come to mind.So yeah I was pretty liquored up and pissed off while reading THE LAST CLINIC, and I was even more liquored up and pissed off when I finished it, and I’m still liquored up and pissed off as I write this review. Because really the bottom line is it takes two people to start an argument, and it takes two people to continue one. Religion ends up getting a bad reputation when folks use it as an excuse to further their own extremism causes. Religion can actually do some good when used properly, creating a set of values and structure, and giving a man or woman hope, and a belief in something greater and more powerful than themselves. But when it isn’t used properly, you might as well be holding a gun in your hand instead of a Bible, because it’ll lead you to some pretty fucked up shit, and you’ll be screaming the name of Allah, or God, or Jesus Christ, or Buddha, or whomever from the other side of a metal cell or padded walls.Aside from the religious aspects, and there were plenty for me to stand up and take notice, Detective Darla Cavannah is a woman I have no problem getting behind. She’s smart and beautiful with a body built for trouble, and the story added elements of mystery, instead of moving in a linear fashion straight to the finish line. But it’s hard for me to get past the fact that there were multiple individuals I’d like to whack upside the head with a Bible or a wooden cross.I received this book for free through NetGalley.Cross-posted at Robert's Reads

  • Julie
    2019-03-11 03:34

    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 reviewI 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 raised a few eyebrows initially. However, that subject matter was handled very professionally and Darla waded through the mine field and lived to tell the tale. I had no problems with the set up per se, and I actually liked Darla, but I did have some issues with the way the south was characterized. I have lived in four states across the deep south and have several relatives who reside in Mississippi, none of whom behave like the characters depicted in this novel and I feel this does the state a great disservice. There are many prolific authors from Mississippi as well as other talented artist. So, for the record, just because someone is from the south doesn’t mean they are right wing extremist, religious zealots, stupid, ignorant, uneducated, or sexist, or go around blessing everyone’s heart. Having said that, the mystery and crime elements are solid and there was even a little romance thrown in for good measure. The writing is fine, the pace steady, with a few surprises along the way. However, the story didn’t immediately grab my attention and I really struggled to stay involved in it. I am glad I finally finished it though, as the last quarter of the book was compelling and Darla is very adept at interrogation, so it was fascinating to watch her work.Overall, this one gets a 2.5 rounded to 3

  • Ian
    2019-03-08 01:47

    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 doctor, she has to spend just as much time fixing up his messes as investigating the crime...all the while a killer is on the loose and he's got a plan. The Last Clinic surprised me. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. It reminded me a little of another book set in Mississippi, A Time to Kill by John Grisham, but I think this book is better. I don't read too many male authors, and this book has quite obviously been written by a male, but he's managed to write a female main character who is both interesting and has depth. It's a solid debut novel and a good start to series which has a lot of potential.Many thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

  • Marvin
    2019-03-01 04:57

    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.Popular anti-abortion preacher, Jimmy Aldridge, is gunned down while setting up his protest signs in front of one of the last abortion clinics in Jackson, Mississippi. Of course the main suspect is good looking clinic doctor Nicoletti and there are plenty of people who want to nail the murder on him. But when investigator Darla Cavannah finds $3000 in small bills inside the reverend's car, she suspects there may be another suspect and another motive.There are a lot of nice twists and turns in this tale but it is the characters that really made this a superior mystery. Darla is a transplanted northerner whose deceased but well-respected husband makes her a little less of a stranger in this slightly nepotistic Mississippi city. Her sheriff friend Shelby is a delightfully charismatic redneck. In fact, most of the characters in this novel are well-written and full of eccentricities that endear them to the reader. For that matter, Jackson, Miss. is practically a character in the book as Cusick writes about it with such flair. It is not surprising to find that Jackson is Cusick's real-life hometown. There is only one person in the book that seems a bit forced and that is a bungling Elvis impersonating police officer but he does make for good comic relief.As far as the plot goes, this is one of the few mysteries that had me guessing to the very end. I like it when a who-dunnit has many suspects and all of them seem plausible...including the one that actually "dunnit". There is just the right amount of seriousness and wit to keep this story entertaining. This is an easy recommendation for all mystery fans. I understand this is Gary Cusick's debut novel. Very promising indeed.

  • Eric_W
    2019-03-15 02:58

    Fun read with lots of humor. Darla is a former Philadelphia homicide cop who moved down to Jackson, Mississippi following the termination of  her football star husband who 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 been shotgunned in front of the abortion clinic where he was protesting and harassing clinic staff and patients.   Unfortunately, Darla gets paired with the worst detective in the department, Tommy, a fan of the dead reverend, and one who has already made up his mind that the clinic doctor is the culprit. He also performs as an Elvis impersonator on weekends.  He did look a little like Elvis in the face, especially with those razor-cut sideburns and the pompadour hair dyed jet black. But then there was his body, a shorter version of the bloated older Elvis. He was more like Elvis as a Hobbit. Darla pictured Kendall whacking him with his Gibson back in high school and thought how he’d probably never lived it down. It was funny but also pathetic. Jackson, with a metro population of over 400,000, still had a small-town way of remembering every embarrassing thing anybody ever did. . .An officer don’t get demoted for being stupid. Usually they get an assistant, which unfortunately we can’t afford at present. To get fired, a detective like Tommy needs to get caught doing something downright illegal. Then maybe we can do a little wrist slapping. Unfortunately, Tommy ain’t got the smarts to try anything ambitious. Much to Darla and Shelby's consternation, it's Tommy who keeps bringing in the suspects.  He has the contacts and loves the publicity that accompanies solving crimes. Perhaps if Darla would quit mooning over the good doctor and got busy she might do better at solving the crime. I think my favorite character is Uther Pendragon (yes, of Arthurian fame,) the geek brought in as an intern whose pattern recognition software ultimately solves a peripheral series of crimes.  The investigation itself is perhaps the weakest part of the book. It's the humorous passages that kept me reading.   Here's another example:  "It all sounded sweet, but was it sugar or saccharin? People in Mississippi always managed to sound so nice. Always using phrases like “bless his heart” when you knew they hated the person they were talking about. Kendall once said, “You can call anyone in the state anything you like, as long as you bless their heart afterward. For instance, I could say ‘My ex-husband is a lying, cheating, morally bankrupt, no-good prick, bless his heart.’ That would be perfectly acceptable in polite society. You just have to bless their heart.”  Not to mention the horrifying story of the Hemmings Plantation prostitution scheme. I note the author lives in Jackson, and I would hope that revelation has no basis in fact. Excellent police procedural with all the elements I like: humor, interesting characters, and a good mystery. I really enjoyed this book and hope a series results.  My thanks to the publisher for this advance copy in return for my objective review.  Note that quotes are from the uncorrected proof.  

  • Dianne
    2019-03-16 04:35

    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 not to have any alibis at the ready. With her work cut out for her, Darla must avoid tripping over her bumbling partner while trying not to get tangled up in the sheets of Dr. Nicoletti’s bed. Add the less than savory dirt that is being dug up on the precious reverend, the strip club connection and Darla has a tangled web to unravel to find the killer. Add that good Ole Boy clichéd mentality of the Deep South and sit back and enjoy the ride!The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick takes murder and ties it in knots and sends us on a twisted journey to solving the crime. Well-written with a cast of characters you will find amazingly perfect in their roles, by the time you finish, you may be feeling the need for a Mint Julep or two!I received an ARC edition from Alibi in exchange for my honest review.Series: Darla Cavannah Mysteries, Book 1Publication Date: November 18, 2013Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - AlibiISBN: 9780345548887Genre: Adult Mystery/Intrigue/MurderPage Count: 264Available from: Amazon / Barnes & NobleFor more reviews check out Tome Tender's Book Blog or find us on Facebook.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-03-22 07:47

    Coming November 18th From Random House Publishing Group – AlibiThank 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 Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah.So I love getting in at the start of a new we meet Darla Cavannah, who has taken leave from the Sherrif’s department after the death of her husband. Talked into coming back to take on the case of the Reverend Jimmy, she is one to keep her head whilst all around her are losing theirs…A clever little mystery this, with some emotive subjects at its heart, which are handled well. Whilst I found it fairly easy to work out what was going on, I found the characters utterly amusing and compelling and this made it a fun read. Darla’s partner on the case is an Elvis impersonator – yes you heard me – and he also has some very clear idea’s about who they should be chasing. Sheriff Shelby is one cool dude and very persuasive. Then you have clinic doctor Stephen Nicoletti, a man who Darla is drawn to..but is he guilty or innocent?Overall a great start and one that will ensure I read other books in the series. Slight downsides? The “romance” between Darla and Stephen is slightly cliched and a little rushed perhaps – but other than that an involving and engaging read, recommended for lovers of mystery fiction.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Tina
    2019-03-19 04:00

    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, was the relationship with Darla and Dr. Nicoletti. But, it isn't like people don't have instant attractions, so it is something that happens. I will be watching this author and I hope there is more to come!

  • Sue
    2019-02-21 01:44

    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 Clinic. For the last three years, Reverend Jimmy has been out picketing every morning in front of the abortion clinic, run by Dr. Stephen Nicoletti. Then a black SUV came around the corner and shot the preacher dead.Sheriff Shelby Mitchell, calls in detective Darla Cavannah. The pressure is on to find the killer. Darla had moved from Philadelphia to Jackson, Mississippi, with her husband-football hero Hugh "the Glue" Cavannah. But when Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla buries herself in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff's department. But now she is called back to duty to solve this homicide. And to make matters worst, based on limited resources in the department she is paired up with the worst detective in the department-Tommy Reylander, "the Elvis impersonator"...but the nephew of the Mayor. The victim was found with three shots to the chest. Forensics picked up partial tire prints from a SUV or truck. There was an envelope, marked "deposit" in the glove compartment of his vehicle...containing $3000 dollars.The clinic's doctor, Stephen Nicoletti is the number one suspect. Many right-to-life advocates believe he is guilty. He had motive, opportunity and an eyewitness that places him at the scene of the murder...but Darla doesn't believe he did it, and is determined to solve the murder mystery and prove his innocence. A very enjoyable read with a great set of believable characters.

  • Tony
    2019-03-14 07:53

    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 found myself thinking - yup, that's exactly how I'd respond. A lot of good human truths in this one. A serious topic of abortion and women's rights delivered in an inviting read. Well done.

  • WiLoveBooks
    2019-02-21 07:57

    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 that I enjoyed. Very readable.

  • Barbara Tobey
    2019-03-07 05:45

    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.

  • Rick
    2019-03-21 00:50

    ARC from NetGalleyVery 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.

  • Mike
    2019-02-19 00:48

    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.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-28 07:46

    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 clever murder mystery. Darla is a richly developed and multi-faceted protagonist whose investigative skills are unsurpassed. As an outsider, she has a vastly different viewpoint of possible motives and suspects in Reverend Jimmy Aldridge's death and she follows the evidence rather than jumping to quick conclusions. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell is a charming Southern lawman with political aspirations who fully recognizes and appreciates Darla's expertise as an investigator. Unfortunately the good old boy network is firmly in place and Shelby reluctantly saddles, er, partners Darla with Tommy Reylander whose investigative skills are as abysmal as his Elvis impersonations. The other side of the bumbling investigator coin is the sharp as nails computer geek Uther Johnson whose tech savvy skills prove invaluable to Darla's investigation when he discovers a disturbing pattern to a seemingly unrelated series of crimes. The logical suspect in the reverend's death is Doctor Stephen Nicoletti but Darla is not as convinced of his guilt as Tommy is. Instead, Darla focuses on Jimmy's life and the troubling evidence found at the crime scenes. Darla's intense scrutiny reveals very unsavory aspects of Jimmy's life and an appalling breach of his congregation's trust. The only area the novel falters is the rushed romance between Darla and chief suspect Stephen Nicoletti. As the story opens, Darla is still deeply mourning of her husband's death, so I was a little taken aback at how quickly she fell in love with Stephen. Their relationship would have been much more believable if there had been a slower build-up and exploration of their growing feelings for one another.The Last Clinic is a fast-paced and compelling mystery that I found impossible to put down. Gary Gusick deftly handles sensitive topics with ease and his characterization of Southern life is quite accurate. Unexpected plot twists keep readers guessing whodunnit right up until the novel's conclusion. An excellent first installment in what I hope is a new mystery series starring the delightfully engaging Darla Cavannah. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who enjoys mysteries.

  • Gabby
    2019-03-15 06:37

    **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 business to know who does or does not use this option, except, as in the current atmosphere, when taxpayer dollars are involved. Aside from that, I object to interference from anyone who believes (s)he knows better than the parties involved what to do about a pregnancy. Which would explain why I have rather strong opinions about zealots who do nothing but interfere in matters of no concern to them. That said, it will come as no big revelation that Reverend Jimmy Aldridge's death in the first few pages did not get my also considerable justice juices flowing. What did arouse my curiosity, and held onto it for the duration of the book was what kind of people were involved with the Jackson Women's Health Clinic. In addition, once the character of Darla Cavannah was introduced, I wanted to know much more about her. By the time I got to the **Sisterhood Of The Swamp** I wanted lots more books with Darla and her female posse. That's one of the major points about this novel for me aside from the fact that it's a well developed mystery with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing and wondering where all of this was going. I loved the addition of humor in such unexpected places. For example, it's clear enough that Detective Tommy Reylander is a fool, but add to that his act as an Elvis impersonator, and I got the giggles more than once when Tommy showed up. The bottom line, though, is that this is a mystery about who murdered Reverend Jimmy Aldridge and why. There's nothing funny about what led people to react the way they did in a number of situations, and I was impressed by Gusick's knowledge of human psychology in making the motives behind the behavior make perfect sense once they were all understood and revealed. And then there's that love story... I want more of Darla Cavannah just to see where Gusick takes the characters for that. And, oh yes, more of the **Sisterhood Of The Swamp** too. And the Elvis impersonator. Definitely 5 Stars from me!I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Lara Girdler
    2019-03-17 02:52

    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 Churches. Not only does she find herself chasing after her unwilling media-whore partner’s unwillingness to look beyond his own nose and possibly find the real culprit – moving out of his own small-town hero wanna-be status as the Governor’s nephew – she finds herself discovering more about Jimmy Aldridge and his “secret” hobbies and crusades. All the while the reader is thrust into the world of a hired-assassin going after Women’s health clinic doctors – a hired-hand who is being paid by a mysterious benefactor.Is the murderer the town OB/Gyn who works at the Women’s Health Clinic Jimmy Aldridge picketed every-day?Is there someone outside of Jackson looking for blood?Is there someone inside of Jackson who wanted Pastor Aldridge dead? Who is paying the hired-hand to murder all of those Dr’s across the country?All of these questions and more get answered inside of this gripping novel! The entire novel is told from the third person, giving insight into each character, allowing the reader to flesh out each individual as a person and use their character to help determine who the murderer actually is vs. who Tommy (the Elvis Impersonator) and the general public of Jackson, MI wants it to be. Thoroughly gripping and mysterious, this novel brings forward many questions about the Right to Life Campaign running in the South (as someone who lives in SE NC I see it almost daily) and the very definite culture clashes between “Yankees” and Southerners (also someone who moved from the DC Suburbs to SE NC, I found this to be true until very recently), and the questions of Church and State separation. This book is one I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading a good murder mystery, definitely looking forward to seeing more of Darla Cavannah and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office! Here’s hoping there’s more novels to come!

  • Jay Kenobi
    2019-03-16 02:33

    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 & seems to be doing his level best to lay the crime firmly at Nicoletti's door. Darla is just as sure that the enigmatic doctor is innocent, but is it her detective instincts or her growing attraction to him talking?The Last Clinic is a debut novel, and yet it's very well-written. The plot is multi-layered, dealing not just with the initial murder, but with corruption, intrigue, blackmail, moral debates, bereavement & romance. The novel held my interest from start to finish, through all the side-developments of the investigation. I did think the final denouement felt slightly rushed which I found a little unsatisfying, but the novel didn't suffer unduly for it.The characters were well-developed, varied and interesting. The Doctor is mysterious yet attractive, the Sheriff is down-to-earth and likeable, whilst the incompetent Elvis-impersonating cop & Darla's sarcastic best friend provide some chuckle-out-loud moments. I would however have liked a deeper insight into Darla herself. I believe that The Last Clinic is intended as the first novel in a series, so hopefully we have more development of Darla's character to look forward to. I certainly intend to read them! The Last Clinic will be released on November 18th 2013.

  • Marika Charalambous
    2019-03-22 03:43

    First reviewed on my blog: 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 series where I haven’t read the previous books, and I was glad to see that I didn’t have to catch up with any earlier one before starting to read this novel.Now granted, another reason why I picked this book was because of the comparison with Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, two of my most favorite mystery authors ever. I mean can a new author really compare to two shining stars of the mystery genre? That’s what I set myself to find out.The story is about Darla Cavannah, a detective with the Jackson police department who is is on a self-imposed exile from work after her husband Hugh, the famous local football player, died in a car crash some six months ago. Shelby Mitchell, the sheriff (a really cool guy if I ever saw one) requests her return to duty due to the nature of the crime which seems to be right up Darla’s alley.She is a hate crime specialist and solving this particular crime needs her expertise because it seems that the victim, beloved reverend Jimmy Aldridge, was indeed shot dead because of his views (and actions) on abortion. He used to stand in front of the abortion clinic every single morning protesting against the clinic and its staff, harassing them even. And this is the very place he was found dead one early morning.

  • Autumn
    2019-03-21 03:41

    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 that there wasn't details being given within the book as I probably would have been crying. The relationship between Darla and Dr. Nicoletti seemed a bit rushed within the story. Instead of getting to know one another going on dates it was like bam let's question him, arrest him and then I will sleep with him. Unless he was a one night stand and then I could understand that. I enjoyed how the Reverend was not all goody two shoes. He had a dark side within him. Now Darla's partner Tommy what is there to say about him. I kind of wish Darla would have kicked him in the balls a few times. With this Elvis wannabe self, he had more ego issues than anything and was determine to catch a collar even if it mean the wrong person.Now this book may not be for everyone, being as it does deal with abortion clinics, a doctor is wrote out more of a hero, a sketchy dealing with black virgins and old white men. But do not let that turn you away from the story as it is really good. Now you may think you know who the killer is but you may be wrong on your assumption. Now I had no idea until the very end and I was very surprised, but I could see why this person did what he did.

  • Erin
    2019-02-20 03:44

    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 unlikely moniker of Uther Pendragon Johnson who is described as looking like Buggin' Out from Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" and who sounds like Sidney Poitier (now THAT is a well-drawn character!). Lots of twists and interesting sidelines (readers will be fascinated by/cringe at (view spoiler)[Hemmings Mansion - and I'm assuming the misspelling is intentional since the correct spelling of Sally Hemings is also included (hide spoiler)]). There were some light, funny moments and my minor quibbles don't really amount to much (I've lived in the South all my life and I've never heard casual usage of the terms "dago" and "wop" to describe people of Italian descent, especially from characters roughly my own age). Well worth a quick beach or airplane read, and I would definitely be interested in seeing what becomes of Darla.

  • Nancy
    2019-03-02 00:49

    Abortion Clinics are the Focus of MurderReverend 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 only an Elvis impersonator, but intent on assuring that Dr. Nicoletti, the doctor running the abortion clinic, is found guilty. As she follows the trail of the money found in Reverend Aldridge's glove compartment, Darla realizes that the reverend had secrets to hide from his congregation. This is an entertaining mystery. Darla, Dr. Nicoletti, the sheriff, and others are amusing characters. The setting is true to Mississippi and gives rationale for the behavior of the characters. That was well done. The mystery also has a romance. Darla and Dr. Nicoletti become infatuate with each other, but it seemed forced to me. It ended well, but the beginning seemed contrived. I recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries. The plot isn't hard to figure out, but it's amusing to watch the actions of the characters. I enjoyed it. I reviewed this book for Net Galley.

  • Chris
    2019-02-24 08:35

    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 love of sport hunting – as a wildlife conservationist, this would normally get my goat (so to speak!!) but again, this book is not making a stand on such issues.If it makes any serious point, it is to show the dark side of extremism and where it can lead.But throughout the whole book, Mr Cusick manages to incorporate much humour into his characterisations and it becomes an utterly riveting read with many twists and turns to keep you guessing to the last page! Well I guessed a little before the end but was kept hanging on until very far into the book!I’m not going to take you through the plot – read the book and discover the richness of this novel for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.As a debut novel, this is a great start and I can’t wait to read his next book.Well done, Mr Cusick. I like your style.

  • Bill Mackela
    2019-03-13 00:37

    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 brings up and exposes some moral and cultural deficiencies in American society. It raises questions that have no easy answers. All of this in a well crafted 250 page first novel. I hope that this isn't a one time deal for Mr. Gusick, because I for one am looking forward to reading another novel featuring Darla Cavannah. She is a very interesting character. A strong-willed female detective from the North, living and working in Jackson, Mississippi. I think that Mr. Gusick has a real winner here.I give this book 5 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! I recommend The Last Clinic to anyone who likes a good mystery with a strong female lead.I received this Digital Review Copy for free from

  • Kathy
    2019-02-22 07:32

    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 crimes specialist, is brought in to help solve the case.The story has many interesting twists and turns and a cast of colorful characters. Darla is a conscientious detective who probes and probes, never taking things at face value. Unlike detective Tommy Reylander who is quick to accuse without sufficient evidence to back his theories. My favorite character is Uther Pendragon Johnson, a computer geek who uncovers and ultimately solves a series of related crimes. All in all, The Last Clinic is a delightful read that will appeal to a wide audience. I think both the author and the main character, Darla Cavannah, have great potential for a series that will keep readers clamoring for more. I really enjoyed it.

  • Madison Warner Fairbanks
    2019-03-10 09:00

    The Last Clinic by Gary GusickReverend 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 here and it was kept from the main players. It's a mystery that unfolds slowly in a true southern drawl.There were a few discordant notes that didn't really make sense. I won't detail them but they have to do with actions by the character Darla. Author or editor miss? Not sure but they are minor in nature and don't impact the actual solving of the mystery.Overall an entertaining sleuth story.Note: the background of the mystery surrounds church and state with Roe vs. Wade abortion issues. And gays. And political kickbacks and lobbyists. The author does not take a position.I received a copy of the book from NetGallery.

  • Shelley
    2019-02-20 07:56

    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 characters were gradually fleshed out and we learn both good and bad things about them. There is a slight love interest toward the end of the story.I enjoyed the southern setting of this story and the characters who lived there.The plot unfurls chapter by chapter with seemingly unrelated plot strands gradually knitting together to make sense. It was no hardship reading this mystery, and I read it quickly while trying to figure everything out. I didn't guess the murderer until right at the very end, although the clues were definitely laid for the reader earlier on in the story. A good read. 4.5 stars.Copy provided by NetGalley

  • Debbi
    2019-03-09 04:57

    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 chief turns to Darla Cavanaagh, a transplant from Philadelphia. He pairs her with the possibly worst officer on the force, and an Elvis impersonator to boot, who has clearly decided who killed the preacher, and is constantly getting in Darla's way as she works to solve the crime. The book is a great read for those who like Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, or just a good, fast paced story. The romance is a bit hard to believe, but the police work is well done, and the conclusion is surprising. A great vacation book!

  • ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥
    2019-03-21 03:39

    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 really admired that about him. And Uther the research guy is also one that could have been way OTT but i did like him as well and his relationship with Darla was cute. To sum it all, all characters were likable add this to the awesome plot that will keep you on your toes. I couldn't have figured it out if i tried. And i know that not many will ;) *challenge started*Why not 5 stars? Well, there were some parts i didn't care for and made me just leave the book down for a couple of days.