Clear and Convincing Proof
The Kelso-McIvey Rehabilitation Clinic is a non-profit clinic famous for its success. Darren Halvord is the physical therapist who is the lynchpin of the current clinic. He rents an apartment from one of the volunteers, Erica Castle. Dr. Greg Boatman is the resident physician and his wife, Natalie, takes care of the business end. Annie McIvey, married to one of the shareholders, volunteers every day.
It was started about 50 years earlier by Drs. Kelso and McIvey. After Dr. McIvey and his wife died, their shares of the clinic when to their son David, Annie's husband. Dr. David McIvey is a famous neurosurgeon. He hates the clinic and wants to turn it into a for profit surgical clinic. Dr. Kelso, one of the founders, wants to keep the rehab clinic run by a non-profit foundation. The young Dr. McIvey is an arrogant, cold man that no one likes except for his excellent surgical skills.
One rainy, foggy Eugene morning David McIvey is found dead in the clinic garden. Someone shot him at close range, then drug his body off the path. The main suspects are Annie McIvey, wanting to get out of a bad marriage, and Darren Halvord, wanting to save his clinic. Dr. Kelso and the board of directors retain Barbara Holloway in case charges are brought against the two. The police have some evidence, but not enough to arrest them. Now Barbara accepts a case that may or may not go to court. She keeps digging with her clients, their statements, and the clinic employees. Eventually something in the case will break. If she discovers one of the two is the murderer, what will she do?
The character of Barbara Holloway is excellent. Kate Wilhelm has created a strong, older single woman who gives her all to her clients. Her support team is her father, her young partner, and one of the best private detectives in Oregon. Wilmoth writes strong characters and stories - I really like her stuff.
That said, as good as Wilhelm's writing is, Clear and Convincing Proof isn't one of her strongest novels. I was able to guess the murder due to her construction of the story, not due to the clues. Other than that, I liked the book, the characters, and Barbara's interactions with the people in the clinic. I already have the next book in the series on order from the library.
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