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Tuesday 1 January 2019

‘Long Road to Mercy’ by David Baldacci

Published by Macmillan,
15 November 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-509-87433-0 (HB)

Female F.B.I. Agent Atlee Pine (6ft tall and solid muscle) is called to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where the body of a mule has been discovered, and its rider a Benjamin Priest has gone missing. A strange carving on the corpse makes it even more puzzling.

On contacting Benjamin's brother Edward, Atlee finds that a photo of Benjamin does not match the description of him given by the Rangers working in the Grand Canyon alongside him. Who is posing as Benjamin, why, and where are they both?

Back in her office, Atlee becomes further intrigued when she has the distinct feeling she is being warned off the case, especially when she receives a phone call from a senior member of the F.B.I. telling her to watch her back. She becomes suspicious that the Bureau is keeping an eye on her, when her secretary warns her that her computer has probably been hacked.

Events then take a nasty turn when an attempt is made on her life, leading her to believe that her own government is behind the disturbing happenings. She is told in no uncertain terms to leave the investigations and to take a break away for a while.

Determined to get to the bottom of the disappearances, Atlee together with her secretary Carol decide to “go rogue”.  Surreptitious investigations lead them to believe the answer lies back in the Grand Canyon and being an experienced walker Atlee sets out on a long hike to follow her hunch. As experienced as she is, she needs to draw on all her strengths for the trek.

What she expects to find is likely to bring down the government and lead to world chaos. Who can she trust to help her expose the people behind such a horrendous plot and prevent what could lead to mass destruction?

To add to her problems, at the same time Atlee is trying to discover what happened to her twin sister Mercy in 1989. A man came into their bedroom when they were six years old, assaulted them both and took Mercy away. Atlee wants to know what became of her, a body was never found, and she needs closure one way or another. Can she find the answers?

I look forward to reading more of the exploits of David Baldacci's new very capable heroine.  Recommended especially for those who like an interesting plot and are intrigued by the deceptions capable of those in power and how it is possible to hoodwink the general public.
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

David Baldacci.  A lifelong Virginian, David was born in Richmond in 1960. He received his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C. He has published 22 books. While David is involved in several philanthropic organizations, his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s ‘Wish You Well foundation.’ Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs. In 2010 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, nearly 1 million new and used books have been collected and distributed through area food banks. David explains, “With this program, people go home with food, which they need to live, as well as with books, which they need to change their lives.”

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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