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Long Road to Mercy: 1 (Atlee Pine Thriller)

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Although the trip to the prison to visit the serial killer felt a little too familiar, and raises other questions in the reader's minds, it was enough different and personal enough that it was not so similar to other stories in this genre. Pine grew up in Georgia, but moved out West to enjoy the open spaces, as well as some distance from others. This story is no exception, as it mixes the thrill of the hunt with a female protagonist ready to solve the world’s problems. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 13, 2018. 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.

The story opens with Atlee visiting a high security prison to talk to the man she thinks killed her twin sister. As I read, I was reminded of another series character: Jane Hawk, the feisty heroine conceived by another favorite author, Dean Koontz.She had sat in a group counseling session and had listened as the attendees went around the room discussing their most personal issues. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. Small towns, impossibly long distances in-between, isolation like most on the East Coast have never experienced, and an environment where anything can and does happen. I’ve read some AMAZING female leads – Candice Fox delivers many, and just recently I revisited Michael Connelly’s Renee Ballard.

This underlying thread keeps the story moving along, as Atlee seeks to avenge the powerlessness she suffered as a child by capturing the worst criminals who cross her path. Atlee’s twin sister, Mercy, was abducted from their bedroom over thirty years ago, and Atlee has spent every day since wondering what happened to her.

I won’t recommend it, but if the above reasons for me disliking it don’t matter to you, or you’re a Baldacci fan, or you haven’t read a book by Baldacci before, go ahead and give it a try. Her off sider in this story is also a woman, and an older one whose usual position is as her assistant in the office. In FBI Agent Atlee Pine, he has envisioned a new kind of heroine, forged in the fire of trauma and driven by a rare kind of strength.

Baldacci introduces a new series here with FBI agent Atlee Pine and the western outdoors locale and accompanying characters are well utilized at the front and back end. A mile-a-minute read that proves once again why David Baldacci has readers the world over flocking for more. Even though I don't think it would be a spoiler, I'm not going to explain the cause for her developing in such a direction, because that is the fresh take, early, regarding this character that makes these first few pages intriguing to read. The plot: It was really well-woven, introducing the reader to unknown ideas that could very well be real (some aspects may or may not be based in reality, in fact – I didn’t check). HUGE things happened in the book, but that ending was so ridiculously simple that I don’t believe it.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. Also of interest is Baldacci’s commentary on the political situation in the US and discussion around the lack of trust that Americans currently have in their own government agencies who no longer seem to be above the law. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. Atlee’s been at Shattered Rock (as close as you can get to the Grand Canyon without being in the park) a year or so and has built a place and reputation for herself in the community but she holds herself back. She can have no idea as to how deeply this will blow her world apart as she is warned off looking further into the case by her superiors in the FBI or face suspension.

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