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Long Road to Mercy: 1 (Atlee Pine Thriller)

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In between we experience the beauty of the Grand Canyon, lots of people dying in dramatic ways, new knowledge (to me) about riding mules down into the Canyon, discovering a nuclear bomb and much political wrangling before a solution is reached. Baldacci's plotlines here might sound a trifle far-fetched here, until you look at the gloomy and dangerous state of US politics and the global machinations at play in the world today, at which point it all seems scarily possible. Atlee and Carol also stumble across an organisation (the Society for Good / SFG) – a think tank of sorts which also attempts to uncover corruption and right wrongs – and I suspect we might hear from them again. I can very much relate to Atlee Pine and her attitude and tendency towards being an introverted loner, but there is no doubting her ability to get stuck in and once she gets her teeth into something, even where she has been warned off it by her superiors, she still continues to follow her heart with no qualms about the possible consequences whether personal and/or employment-related.

Most of the time, I don’t really mind if authors don’t have much representation in their books especially when they were published before these issues became a major force in today’s society. I literally skipped two to three pages of description because I didn’t care and didn’t want to read it. A lifelong Virginian, David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Atlee’s pretty sure she now remembers seeing him in their bedroom when she was just 6yrs old but worries a little that she might be wrong. LONG ROAD TO MERCY strikes all the right chords: a perfect blend of action, secrets, and conspiracies--all combined with Baldacci's trademark sizzle.sets off some alarm bells however and she notes that everyone from the national security agency to her boss’s boss’s boss are suddenly interested in the death of Sallie Belle (the aforementioned mule). What a blast-off for Baldacci's most memorable protagonist yet--Atlee Pine is a heroine for our times, a fighter for justice we'd all be glad to have on our side.

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. With seven book series, this one will make it the eighth, along with standalone thrillers, how he does not get confused I do not know.

The depth of the Grand Canyon’s geography: While it was meant as an immersive narrative, it got a bit too mundane and made me zone out a bit when there was little but details of the Canyon for pages on end. Long Road To Mercy, the first thriller to feature FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine, begins by introducing us to our new protagonist, and we learn all about her formative years spent with her family and the troubles that have plagued her ever since, saying more would spoil it for potential readers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide.

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