Mystery Jerome Doolittle Head Lock

ISBN 13: 9780671799786

Head Lock

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9780671799786: Head Lock

In the latest Tom Bethany mystery, the Washington private investigator and his girlfriend, married lawyer Hope Edwards, uncover the scandalous life of a television evangelist. 12,500 first printing.

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About the Author:

Jerome Doolittle is a former Washington Post editor and columnist, U.S. Embassy spokesman in Laos, war correspondent in Southeast Asia, chief of public affairs for the Federal Aviation Administration, speechwriter for President Carter, and Harvard faculty member. In addition to the Tom Bethany mysteries, he is the author of The Bombing Officer, a novel of wartime Laos.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Tom Bethany's married lover, Hope, had been undergoing an abortion in a Virginia clinic when it was surrounded by anti-abortion protesters led by the televangelist Howard Orrin. Tom has volunteered to lead a motorcade of other patients through the blockade. He has also volunteered to take along a teenaged girl whose emotional state is so fragile that the clinic's doctor has postponed her scheduled abortion.

"How many patients are waiting to leave?" I asked Dr. McLarey.

"Four others."

"So with ours that makes five vehicles altogether."

"Only four, actually. The Butler girl came alone."

"We'll take her," I said. Kimberly Butler was the shattered kid who talked to the world through her stuffed animal, Binkie.

"Will you? That would be wonderful."

"I was thinking it might be better if we all went out together," I said. "Kind of in a convoy."

The parking lot behind the building was out of sight of the demonstrators, so we were able to form up unobserved. Two of the patients had come with woman friends or relatives, and one was with a man. I put the car driven by the man at the end of our little column, and myself at the head, and told everyone to shut the windows, lock the doors, keep moving and keep it closed up. Hope was in the back seat, holding Kimberly's hand. I reached back and punched down the door locks. Then I hollered to everyone to warm up the motors a little. I didn't want anybody stalling. After a few moments I waved my little convoy forward.

The real noise started as soon as the demonstrators saw us coming out from behind the clinic. There had been chanting and shouting and hymns all along, but the mob had had no one to focus on. Now it had us.

It was the most frightening thing I ever faced, by far, to be the object of hatred poured out of hundreds of strangers. The signs were bobbing up and down, and waving, and then they were hitting on the hood and top of the car. Our car was out on the street, but moving at a crawl. The mob blocked my view on all sides. The car lurched, as if the mob had started to rock it, and then my progress stopped. I gave the gas pedal a nudge, to push forward whatever was stopping me, but the motor just raced slightly. It took me an instant to realize that six or eight men had taken hold of the front bumper and lifted the wheels clear of the ground. They were facing me, their mouths big holes in their faces as they screamed. A camera man was crushed against my front fender, filming the men as they screamed. But why wasn't the car moving when I gunned it?

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Jerome Doolittle
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