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The missing boy's grandmother, a secretary at the local parish church, maintains his innocence. On her behalf, the parish priest, Father Kevin Burch, hires former detective Mallory Russo as a private investigator to figure out what happened in the park that night.
Mallory had ended her nine-year stint with the Conroy police force some time ago after becoming a target of a smear campaign. Now a true-crime author, Mallory is surprised to receive the priest's offer - and highly intrigued by the case.
Detective Charlie Wanamaker is facing another sort of tragedy. He fled Conroy years ago with no plans to return to what he considered a dying factory town - until a family emergency brought him back. Finding the situation much worse than he'd thought, he trades his job as a big-city detective for one with the Conroy police department.
Assigned to the park shooting case, Charlie quickly realizes that the initial investigation left a lot of questions unanswered. Unofficially, he teams up with Mallory to uncover the truth and find the two kids, dead or alive. What Charlie and Mallory discover will take them down a twisted path that leads to an old unsolved murder - and justice for a killer with a heart of stone.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By dlsidrn on 04-13-09
I have liked every Mariah Stewart book I've read so felt confident this would be good also. I wasn't dissapointed. She always has a believable story line, interesting characters and I like that she has a several short series of books with the same characters. There is always a little romance but it isn't the main focus of the story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By karen on 04-19-12
What a nice surprise!
A few years ago I picked up a book by Mariah Stewart and didn't get past 50 pages -- it was a true "romance", way too many lustful glances and much more kissy-face than I could tolerate in a book. As a result, I steered clear of Stewart ever since. Or I did, up until I saw this one listed on Audible. I read the blurb, and it sounded like a regular mystery -- I decided to try it.
Glad I did. It appears that Mariah Steward is another of those authors who've switched genres. This isn't anything close to a Harlequin -- yes, there's a boy-girl element, but with no more 'romantic' angle than any other piece of detective fiction. In fact, there might be even less -- it was a very very good book. It's apparently the first book in a trilogy, and I'm now looking for the next two books.
Which is the only reason I gave the book four stars instead of five -- the last big hunk of the book, added to the end, long after the mystery is solved, is nothing more than just a set-up for the next two books, the details and discussions of why the characters decided to create the "Mercy Street Foundation" -- having acquired the experience they did in this book, to then set up a charitable foundation to help other families who had members who'd become "lost", and who couldn't afford to have them traced by conventional means.
It really wasn't necessary to add all that discussion among the characters over their future plans -- the book itself was excellent. I think most readers would be highly likely to look for more 'Mercy Street' books by themselves, without what amounted to a 45 minute advertisement.
Still, don't be put off -- it's a solid mystery, great characters, good plot, definitely a page-turner. Just know that once the mystery itself is solved, you're free to switch off.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful