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A Perilous Conception    by Larry Karp order for
Perilous Conception
by Larry Karp
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Dr. Colin Sanford, working toward producing the first baby conceived by in vitro fertilization, is in a race against time. A pair of scientists in England have the same ambition.

Using fact mixed with a lot of fiction, Larry Karp, author of A Perilous Conception, relates a story of a couple determined to have a child and willing to do anything to accomplish that dream.

Dr. Sanford unites with a laboratory geneticist-embryologist to reach their goal before the men in England do so. A mishap in the laboratory results in the untimely and murderous deaths of the clinician and the patient's husband.

Police Detective Bernie Baumgartner is assigned to discover why the new father would shoot the woman responsible for the delivery of his long-awaited bouncing baby boy - and then shoot himself into the bargain. Dogged police work by Baumgartner sorts out the puzzle, though not before he is assaulted and held at gunpoint.

I have read Larry Karp's Music Box and his Ragtime mysteries and enjoyed them all. This one is a stand alone novel, but I hope Karp will continue with Baumgartner. I like the character very much.

There's a great deal of scientific jargon in A Perilous Conception. Karp is well qualified to write of medical procedures as he has practiced perinatal medicine.

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