Thursday, August 25, 2011

MERCY STREET by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: May 13, 2008
ISBN: 978-0345492265
Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained via: Publisher

A year after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and child, Robert Magellan wanders the grounds of the house he built for them. Vacant, abandoned, he hasn’t been able to bring himself to move in or let it go.

Aimless after resigning from her job, a job she loved as a detective, Mallory Russo works on a book about a case she worked. But her heart isn’t in it. What she wants is to return to the job that fulfilled her, that made her feel whole. But a scandal created by jealous co-workers, sent her from that job.

Charlie Wanamaker has returned to the City of Conroy as a detective. He didn’t really want to leave his job in Philly, but a crisis at home led him back to the family home.

Mutual need doesn’t bring these three people together. No, it’s a dual homicide and the mysterious disappearance of two teens that joins them in the search for a killer that, if they survive, will help them begin to heal from their losses. If Ryan and Courtney didn’t kill their two friends, who did? And if they know who, why are they in hiding? And if they are in hiding, will Mallory and Charlie find them before the killer?

I found MERCY STREET to be a departure from Mariah Stewart’s previous FBI profiler books as well as her earlier reads such as MOMENTS IN TIME. In a sense it is a bringing together of the themes of her earlier books, with an added dimension of sensitivity. At times I felt as if I was reading an entirely different voice than the one I have come to associate with Ms. Stewart. It was exciting to see this subtle change and I am thrilled there are two more books to enjoy in this series. I hope after them there will be more because I like the main characters: Mallory, Charlie and Robert Magellan. Even though Robert lingers in the background, there he has a tremendous presence.

MERCY STREET isn’t about glamorous people. Even with all his wealth, Robert isn’t a thrill magnet. But he has presence. A wonderful presence. No, MERCY SREET is about every day people, leading ordinary lives until one day someone takes it away from them. It strips them of their security and sense of what is right. It is a wonderfully told story. While the beginning is slow and I felt like I was plodding through, once Ms. Stewart hits her stride about 1/3 of the way through the book it became hard to put down. I found myself involved with the characters and glad to join Mallory on her personal ride.

MERCY STREET is a solid read with marvellous characters and a story that will stay with you after you have closed the last page.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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