22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A Case of Need,
This review is from: A Case of Need (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN 0451183665 - The story isn't terrible, the writing style is pretty bad, though. Michael Crichton, aka Jeffery Hudson, has more than made up for this book and if you're a Crichton fan, you might want to read it just for the "read them all" thing, but don't expect too much.
It's the late '60s. Abortion is illegal, and Art Lee has the misfortune to be a Chinese abortionist in Boston when the young member of a prominent family dies from a botched abortion. His friend, pathologist John Berry, has plenty of reason to step up and prove Art's innocence. For one thing, Art is actually innocent of killing Karen Randall. For another, John has been helping Art cover up the abortions he HAS done for a long time. The Randalls use their power to speed up the trial date and John doesn't have much time to put together a puzzle with pieces that just don't fit.
There are so many annoyances in this book, it's hard to detail them all. I tried to overlook the medical footnotes, much the way I overlooked the use of the words Negroes and niggers - it's the '60s. Those words would have been commonly used and there was no CSI, meaning the average reader might not have had a clue without the footnotes. Still, Dr. Berry ditches work for a week without apparently reporting to anyone, to play detective. One sentence near the end mentions that he used to be a cop, as if that explained everything. There are several typos throughout, for which the editor gets the blame, but the one that drove me crazy was the medical chart page in the beginning, dated 11/15 or 10/15 - either way, it can't be right. The chapters are dated, starting with October 10th (the date Karen Randall died) and ending October 17th. Typos are little things, but one like that makes me certain they re-issued the book just to capitalize on Crichton's fame and didn't actually care. Suspense novels depend on details, and date of death would be one of those things that ought to matter!