It was well worth it.
The story is about Elliot Stearns, a former policeman who took up writing after a bullet left him paralyzed from the waist down. As a free lance writer and crime columnist Elliot writes on his blog From Where I Sit and for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Michael explains all this on his blog.
In the book, a psychopath is killing women using techniques an abortion provider would use. Elliot along with his friends on the police force are attempting to find the very clever killer.
Things are complicated by the fact that Elliot has again come in contact with his ex-fiance, Caroline. Things come to a head when their relationship brings danger to Caroline.
I liked the book. It was a mystery, albeit with few possible suspects. The story moved along and there were enough surprises to keep you guessing.
Knowing I am a Christian, Michael asked me if the fact that the killer seemed to have religious reasons for doing his killing bothered me. It does, but that was mitigated by several things. One, so many killers in books, movies and TV are portrayed as “religious nuts” that one becomes used to the whole thing. Two, sadly, we hear too often on the news that someone very much like “The Abortionist” has done some gruesome killing using religion as justification. Three, Michael dealt very well with the subject in the Epilogue by saying that the guy wanted to kill and wrapped in religiosity to justify his evil, much like suicide bombers wrapping themselves in a few words from the Koran and missing the message of the rest of the book.
For my like-minded readers (evangelical Christians), the murders were recounted with perhaps too much gruesome detail. There are a couple of sex scenes and one or two of the victims were described as being unclothed. There is swearing throughout the book.
Technically, a couple of minor spelling and grammatical lapses were noticed.
None of these, however, took away from the story line and the underlying debate about abortion. Caughill has done a good job of being fair to both sides of the abortion debate and looking at the human drama underneath. This he has wrapped up in a gripping story that is worth the read.
Don’t get bogged down in trying to analyze the beliefs of the various characters. Enjoy the story. The Abortionist is worth your time.