Monday, December 19, 2011

CRY MERCY by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: April 28, 2009
ISBN 9780345506139
Romantic Suspense
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher

On the heels of solving the dual homicide of two teens and locating their missing friends, Mallory Russo is called upon to head up Robert Magellan’s Mercy Street Foundation. Still searching for his missing wife and child, Robert is determined to help others find their absent loved ones and the Foundation has been formed to do just that. Mallory is tasked with hiring the investigators to look into, and hopefully find, how these individuals disappeared. Within minutes of Robert’s television interview and launch of the website the applications begin to flood in both for investigative positions and families of missing loved ones.

In California Emme Caldwell sat glued to the television, listening to Robert’s plan and then quickly completed the application. When two men arrive in front of her home she doesn’t wait for a response from Mercy Street but quickly packs for herself and her daughter, Chloe and heads east vowing Robert has to hire her. He simply has to hire her. Despite misgivings, Mallory hires her on a probationary basis—Emme needs to solve their first case—a teenager named Belinda Hudson who has been missing five months.

Emme begins her search for Belinda with the missing teen’s uncle, Nick Perone. Nick is everything Emme has ever hoped for in a man but she’s not ready to give up her secrets, secrets about her and Chloe because if she does, her daughter’s life may be in jeopardy. As Emme and Nick dig into Belinda’s disappearance they become involved in the world of donor siblings and their search for the birth families. But not all their families want to be found.

Over the past few years Mariah Stewart has treated me to some pretty spectacular reads. Page turners that deal with everyday people in not so everyday situations. I knew when I read MERCY STREET she was on to something brilliant and that is borne out in CRY MERCY. CRY MERCY has to be one of Ms. Stewart’s best if not the best book she has ever written.

The storyline unfolds as a steady-paced page turner. Not too fast, never slow and chock full of turns and curves that keep you guessing. She has chosen a fascinating foundation for CRY MERCY with the subject of sperm babies and what happens to them as they approach adulthood. Ms. Stewart has a firm grip on how teens can and will react to certain situations—their reliance on friends, protection of family and their own private moments. What a great basis for a story! Add to that Ms. Stewart’s unique twists and I was torn between wanting to get to the final solution and at the same time didn’t want the story to end.

Nick was a bit tough to warm up to but once I saw the man he was I fell a bit in love with him myself. Emme is smart and a strong sense of purpose. She’s a very matter of fact character who despite doing the wrong thing, does it for the right reason.

I adored Chloe, which is rare for me. Normally I’m not fond of precocious children because they are over done. Chloe was perfect. Smart, sensitive and there was no obvious attempt to make her look cute. She was, in fact, one of the best parts of the story.

CRY MERCY has something for everyone—from teens to mature adults, men and women and in some ways moves across genres because of the contemporary setting, a super mystery, exciting suspense and a solid love story.

CRY MERCY is a stand-alone book, but I strongly suggest first reading MERCY STREET not because it introduces the main characters but it’s just plain ole a good story. CRY MERCY is even better.

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

No comments: