Act of Murder by John Bishop MD is good mystery. This book is not only plot driven which means the author has spent a fair amount of time on character development. The protagonist is Doc Jim Bob Brady of Houston. This orthopedic surgeon was in his backyard when he heard the squeal of tires and then a thud. When he ran to the front of his house, he saw the crushed body of a 10-year-old neighbor boy, Stevie. He was afraid to move the child because of possible damage to his spinal cord, but there was already no evidence of life. It turned out this was also one of his patients who had a rare disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease which causes imperfect bones to repeatedly fracture, often causing early death. Paramedics were called, but their lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful.
Jim Bob and his wife Mary Louise were wonderful, warm, thoughtful and compassionate people who any reader could not help but love. They were friends with Stevie’s parents (Pete and Bobbie Huntley), but those relationships were greatly strained in response to the grieving for their son. Jim Bob attended the autopsy of Jonny, which only led to his discovery of another 10-year-old who had the same disease and died following surgery that same day of a more advanced form of the same disease. When he glanced at the body of Jonathan Fischer, he was struck by this child’s very similar facial appearance to the deceased neighbor boy. He wondered about the boys having been adopted, a fact which the Huntleys had kept hidden from everyone.
Brady was willing to do some investigation into this matter, and the Detective Susan Beeson was pleased for his help. So, the booked worked thru this mystery, clue by clue. The characters were good and well portrayed. The plot moved along at a good pace. This was a quick and enjoyable read, and it gets my recommendation. I’d be glad to read another Doc Brady novel.
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