Long Road to Mercy

Long Road to Mercy

by David Baldacci

Overview: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe. It's seared into Atlee Pine's memory: the kidnapper's chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared. She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She's the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. So when one of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she's abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it...

Deanna Boe (06/23/19): A few years back I was happy to read Baldacci when I was searching for a novel with excitement and an interesting plot. Unfortunately, the last two I have read have really let me down. I was in the airport without a book to read – now that is a real tragedy! Fortunately I found a book store and quickly assessed what they had to provide for my reading pleasure (not much.) I finally settled on Baldacci thinking I couldn’t go too wrong? Wrong.

Baldacci has introduced a new character, Atlee Pine. Pine is a FBI agent in a one-man office located in Arizona. Its purpose is to be responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. Naturally, Pine is young and attractive and extremely “fit.” It is a good thing for all that Baldacci has her doing throughout this book. The storyline starts with Pine being called to examine a mule that has been “murdered.” For those of you who know anything about the Grand Canyon you know that they use mules to haul all forms of goods up and down including people. Interestingly enough, carved on the side of the mule are two initials. What could they stand for and mean? Who was the man who rode him down and where is he?

Pine discovers she has a very talented secretary in terms of researching and finding all kinds of information that she needs to try and solve this mystery. The two of them team up to solve all that is behind this dead mule and other extenuating parts of this convoluted plot. I won’t tell you what they discover (in case you are one of those who loves Baldacci no matter what he writes you feel it is wonderful.)

In looking at other reviews I see people are really split on this one – either they continue to love his writing, or they feel he has let them down big time. Once more, you have to decide on this one. The ending is way out there!
Rating: ***-

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