A Perilous Conception
A Detective Baumgartner Mystery
By Larry Karp
Poisoned Pen Press, Hardcover, 9781590589731, 263pp.
Publication Date: December 2011
List Price: $24.95*
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It's 1976. Despite fierce international controversy over whether in vitro fertilization should ever be performed in humans, doctors around the world race to be first to produce a baby by this procedure. Dr. Colin Sanford, a brilliant, ambitious obstetrician in the Pacific Northwest city of Emerald, has a plan. He recruits Dr. Giselle Hearn, an experienced laboratory geneticist-embryologist at the University. Drs. Sanford and Hearn, working secretly, set out to put their names in history books.Several months later, Dr. Sanford's patient, Joyce Kennett, gives birth to a healthy boy, and Sanford prepares to make an announcement at a press conference. But before it convenes, Ms. Kennett's marginally- schizophrenic husband kills Dr. Hearn and then himself. Police Detective Bernie Baumgartner's investigation is hampered by pressure from influential people at the University who want to control sensationalism that might harm the institution. Tenacious Baumgartner suspects more at play...
"A former doctor who delivered the first baby conceived through IVF in the Pacific Northwest, Karp (First, Do No Harm in the “Music Box Mystery” series) brings a fresh topic to the medical thriller. Readers will be delighted with his new detective’s debut. Pages will fly by as his action-packed cat-and-mouse chase draws to an unexpected conclusion." —Library Journal
"Alternating first-person narratives from the self-important surgeon and the hard-boiled sleuth add texture to this series kickoff from Karp (The King of Ragtime, 2008, etc.). Well paced and intriguing." —Kirkus Reviews "Don't miss this one - it is a definite keeper. The author does a fantastic job with these two main characters. You love them one minute and hate them the next." —Feathered Quill Book Reviews
"If you’re looking for a crime thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat right to the very last page, look no further. A Perilous Conception is just what the doctor ordered." —New York Journal of Books
"In A Perilous Conception Larry Karp provides a clever, intricate medical mystery with plenty of twists, an inventive touch with metaphors, and an ample helping of wit. As any writer knows, telling a story from more than one point of view is a tricky business, but Karp brings it off with aplomb, keeping his characters separate, distinctive . . . and interesting. And as an added bonus, the next time the subject of in vitro fertilization comes up at a cocktail party, you'll blow everybody's socks off." —Aaron Elkins, Edgar winner and author of The Worst Thing
"Karp (The Ragtime Fool), who as a young doctor was a witness to the race to produce the first IVF baby, tempers his well-constructed whodunit with dashes of science and a hint of poignancy."—Cevin Bryerman, Publishers Weekly
"Karp lays out a very entertaining puzzle for medical-mystery fans." —Barbara Bibel, Booklist
"Hot-button issues, ruthless ambition, human experimentation, blackmail, suicide, murder…A PERILOUS CONCEPTION delivers."—Kevin O'Brien, New York Times Best-selling Thriller Author