1968 1st year edition; The World Publishing Company, New York; Book Club Edition; hardbound in light grey boards with red lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor edge wear.
A Case of Need is a medical thriller/mystery novel written by Michael Crichton under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson. It was first published in 1968 by The World Publishing Company (New York) and won an Edgar Award in 1969.
The novel was adapted into the 1972 film The Carey Treatment, and was re-released in 1993 under Crichton's own name. The novel tackles the issues of abortion and racism as they were in late 1960s America.
Dr. John Berry, the protagonist, is a pathologist working in Boston during the 1960s, a time when abortion was illegal in the United States. The story opens with an introduction of the various requirements and challenges of the medical profession during the era. Subsequently, Dr. Berry is notified that his friend, an obstetrician named Arthur Lee, has been arrested and accused of performing an illegal abortion that led to the death of Karen Randall, a member of a prominent Boston medical dynasty. Berry does not believe the allegations, but the situation is further complicated by the fact that Lee is already well-known within the medical community as an abortion provider and that Berry has in the past helped Lee disguise medical samples to hide the fact that Lee's dilation and curettage patients were pregnant.
After visiting his friend in jail, Berry sets out to prove Lee's innocence. He investigates the personal life of the dead woman, creating an accurate portrait of her past, psychology, and character. During his search, which lasts several days, vandals attack Lee's home. The protagonist's knowledge of medicine and law are helpful in overcoming various barriers in his search, including a hostile police captain and bribes from the scion of the Randall family itself: Karen's father, a well-established (though mediocre) doctor.
Eventually, with the aid of an unscrupulous African-American lawyer...