The Abortionist’s Daughter is presented to us as a sort of crime drama, equipped with a full set of murder, drugs, false leads, controversy and stalkers. I did find the plot a little predictable but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
I liked that it is quite different from the forensics-heavy novels that seem to be floating around nowadays. Rather than focusing on the minutia of the crime, Elisabeth Hyde draws us into the life of the victim. Instead of being told from the point of view of a team of investigators the perspective bounces from victim, to police man, to suspect to witness. By concentrating the story on the victim’s daughter (rather than the investigation) Hyde brings family drama to the foreground, which adds complexity to a somewhat exhausted genre. This also helps to make the characters more relatable; not everyone knows what it’s like to lose a parent, but everyone can relate to fighting with one.
I also found it refreshing that we didn’t have a single ‘good’ character (by ‘good’ I mean nice, not well-developed, I though Hyde’s characterization was pretty good, she mostly steered away from the murder mystery stereotypes).
There were a number of controversial issues incorporated into the narrative, and by using very different characters as her mouthpiece Hyde provides us with alternative perspectives, emphasising the subjectivity of life.
I would recommend this book- it’s an easy read and reasonably interesting (if a touch anticlimactic), but if topics such as abortion, murder or sex make you feel quite uncomfortable it might not be for you.