Forge, June 2004, 24.95, 336 pp.
It has been fifteen years The Hawthorne House School for the Treatment of Autistic Children closed its doors but this weekend the founders, doctors, counselors and some former patients are having a reunion. Dr. Jay Schermerthorn, the designer of the protocols, is looked upon as an expert in his field since he had such good results with his treatment. He is now writing books and is going to be the medical expert for a television station on medical information.
The morning after the first night of the reunion, Dr. Schermerthorn is found dead in the basement, the victim of torture. Detectives Emily Folkestone and Ollie Parker believe that this was a premeditated killing done by someone who hated the victim very much. The more they investigate, the more they realize that the doctor was a charlatan who abused the kids under his care. Emily and Ollie are being pressured by the higher-ups to make a quick arrest but the cops believe the only real suspect they have is innocent.
Hopefully Emily and Ollie will be featured in other novels because they make such a dynamite team and give readers an inside look on how a high-profile case is conducted as politics interferingly come into play. Many people had reason to hate the victim but Emily doesn't know how to examine autistic adults so the case gets even more complex. Barbara D'Amato has written whole about families not just the person with the disability. DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS is another excellent mystery by Ms. D'Amato
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner