Charlotte Keating, a doctor and woman of independent means, is slowly pulled into a shadowy realm of violence and desperation after she investigates the suspicious death of a young woman she had recently declined to provide an illegal abortion.
After Charlotte “Charley” Keating turns away a patient seeking an abortion she struggles with the ethical quandaries of such an act. As a feminist she would have liked to help the young girl in trouble but as a doctor with a practice and other patients counting on her she doesn’t feel like she can risk breaking the law for a complete stranger. When the poor girl turns up dead, Charley’s entire life is thrown into chaos.
Perhaps Margaret Millar’s most controversial book—and certainly among her best—Do Evil in Return is a meticulously plotted and suspenseful meditation on abortion and the hypocrisy of the laws governing a woman’s body. Millar may be known as the Grande Dame of domestic suspense, but this brutal tale of a doctor hell-bent on uncovering the truth puts her line with noir luminaries like David Goodis and Jim Thompson.
Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year
“One of the most original and vital voices in all of American crime fiction.” —Laura Lippman
“I long ago changed my writing name to Ross Macdonald for obvious reasons.” —Kenneth Millar (Ross Macdonald), in a letter to the Toronto Saturday Night newspaper
“Very Original.” —Agatha Christie
“Stunningly original.” —Val McDermid
“She has few peers, and no superior in the art of bamboozlement.” —Julian Symons
“Written with such complete realization of every character that the most bitter antagonist of mystery fiction may be forced to acknowledge it as a work of art.” —Anthony Boucher reviewing Beast in View for the New York Times
“Margaret Millar can build up the sensation of fear so strongly that at the end it literally hits you like a battering ram.” —BBC
“Wonderfully ingenious.” —The New Yorker
“Brilliantly superlative… One of the most impressive additions to mystery literature—and the word “literature” is used in its fullest sense.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“In the whole of crime fiction’s distinguished sisterhood, there is no one quite like Margaret Millar.” —The Guardian
“A superb writer.” —H.R.F. Keating
“She writes minor classics.” —Washington Post
“Mrs. Millar doesn’t attract fans she creates addicts.” —Dilys Winn, namesake of the Dilys Award