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Spinks, Sarah.

Toronto, Doubleday, c1985. 230pp, cloth, $19.95, ISBN 0-385-19546-X. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Elizabeth Woodger

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

How could a murderer kill between eight and twenty-three babies at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and be undetected? While this is the primary issue of Sarah Spinks's Cardiac Arrest, other issues are also raised. What were the rights of parents who suspected their baby was a victim, yet could not get the full story from the authorities, nor participate legally in the investigations taking place? How could civil rights be so overlooked that nurses, suspected of murder, were questioned at an inquiry that was broadcast over television?

The tragic events at "Sick Kids" are related chronologically, as the author details the pattern of deaths occurring mostly at night between June, 1980 and March, 1981. As the nurses, doctors, and hospital administration face their suspicions, we re-live the chilling awareness that some unknown person took these innocent lives in a ward where the infants had their best chance at survival.

The medical and legal investigations are described in considerable detail, always in language that is comprehensible to the layman. The author attempts to relate some personal background on each of the people behind the headlines, those involved in the lengthy and expensive Grange inquiry. Yet Ontario's most thorough attempt to locate the killer provided no answers to this widely publicized mystery. This book is recommended for purchase by high school libraries. It will be useful for law studies and has implications for women's issues.

Elizabeth Woodger, Msgr. Doyle H.S., Cambridge, Ont.
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