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Long Road to Mercy (An Atlee Pine Thriller, 1) Paperback – May 28, 2019
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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.
"A perfect blend of action, secrets, and conspiracies." --Steve Berry
"Baldacci is at the top of his game." --Kathy Reichs
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"David Baldacci's best yet. He keeps the pages flying and the plot twisting in this ingenious and riveting thriller. Best of all, he introduces a compelling new heroine in FBI Agent Atlee Pine. I can't wait to see what she does next. Baldacci delivers, every time!"―Lisa Scottoline, #1 bestselling author
"Long Road to Mercy is David Baldacci at his best, introducing an engrossing new heroine, FBI Agent Atlee Pine. Alternately chilling, poignant, and always heart-poundingly suspenseful."―Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"An epic thriller-fast moving, beautifully imagined, and vividly set in the Grand Canyon and its environs. From the opening chapter to the final twist, this novel will absolutely transfix you. A stunning debut to what promises to be a great series. Agent Pine is a character for the ages."―Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"David Baldacci is a name synonymous with excellence-a consummate storyteller who turns the conventional into unconventional. LONG ROAD TO MERCY strikes all the right chords: a perfect blend of action, secrets, and conspiracies--all combined with Baldacci's trademark sizzle."―Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author
"A multi-layered protagonist; a plot as deep and twisty as the setting. In Long Road to Mercy, Baldacci is at the top of his game."―Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A fabulous new character from a master storyteller. Readers will love Atlee Pine. A mile-a-minute read that proves once again why David Baldacci has readers the world over flocking for more."―Jane Harper, New York Times bestselling author
"FBI Agent Atlee Pine is a heroine I'll never forget. I hope David Baldacci's hard at work on Agent Pine's next adventure, because I can't wait to dive into it."―Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author
"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. LONG ROAD TO MERCY is a spectacular series debut. I can't wait to see what's next for her."―Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author
"If you're wondering why David Baldacci is considered the best, look no further than LONG ROAD TO MERCY. 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. It should come as no shock that a thriller writer for the ages has created a character for the ages!"―Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author
"Baldacci excels as a storyteller...He knows how to craft a complex and compelling case for his stellar heroes to solve. Baldacci is at the top of his game here. The final reveal is both exciting and shocking. Readers will fall in love with Atlee, and hopefully Baldacci will bring her back soon."―Associated Press
"Baldacci weaves an intricate tale full of action, adventure and intrigue... Baldacci's latest page-turning thriller lives up to his reader's expectations and beyond."―Killer Nashville
"Baldacci at his finest."―Dearborn Press & Guide
About the Author
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (May 28, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 153876153X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538761533
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.25 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In one sentence, I found Atlee Pine to be an authentic, Scarily Tough Heroine. "Long Road to Mercy" is a Must-Read.
Mind you, though, that the early chapters in which we learn much about our heroine did give me cause for concern. Why? It seemed eerily close to Silence of the Lambs, but the character by Jody Foster was a much more physically adapted character. A character who, by the way, felt much more authentic than your typical heroine.
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 second half of the novel is better than the first half. In fact, some two-thirds in, this becomes a great page-turner. I enjoyed the adventure in this part almost as much as the character.
BLUSH FACTOR Readers familiar with Baldacci will know that his characters are not the sort from the Wizard of Oz, so don't expect to be reading this to youngsters or with your prayer group. But, even if you have objections to the eff-word, this is a book worth reading. And, frankly, the profanity is somewhat sparing. It is used to good effect as a seasoning agent, rather than to an excess.
CHARACTER: My thoughts regarding Atlee Pine - At last, a female FBI agent who feels real and is not some Charlie's Angel or a model. This character has just enough flaws to make her intriguing.
POV: Third person.
I'm only posting the briefest possible tidbit, just so an informed judgment becomes possible.
'...After losing Mercy, she had been put into counseling. As a bereaved six-year-old, she had found it confusing, scary, and, ultimately, unhelpful.
Four years ago, she had tried it again. With the exact same result. She had sat in a group counseling session and had listened as the attendees went around the room discussing their most personal issues. When her turn had come, Pine, who had been shot, stabbed, and attacked multiple times in the line of duty, had started to sweat and taken the coward’s way out—she had passed on her turn and never gone back.
For some reason, all of this had made her averse to possessions. She wanted to go through life with as few as possible. These included people as well. Some shrinks might interpret that as her being fearful of another significant loss. And they might not be far off the mark. But Pine had never allowed herself the time or opportunity to dig deep enough into her psyche to prove that theory true or false.
She showered to take off the dirt and sweat of the Grand Canyon. She dressed in fresh clothes, sat down at her knotty pine kitchen table, which had come with the apartment and which also doubled as her home office, and checked her emails, phone messages, and texts.
There was one from her direct superior out of Flagstaff. He wanted to know
Baldacci, David. Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine) (pp. 45-46). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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. Further, the writing throughout "Long Road to Mercy" is taut with intrigue and suspense so much so that I could only, with much difficulty, put it down to take care of other pressing needs, such as make a pot of coffee and the like.
Five stars out of five.
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The best thing about this book was that Baldacci was brave enough to introduce another major character, after the extremely strange bunch he has created over the years. Unfortunately, a female FBI agent with near Olympic weightlifting credentials who works on her own running the smallest FBI office near the Grand Canyon is not the kind of heroine that one normally barracks for. Also, almost single-handed she walks into and tries to solve one of the most complex and unbelievable plots of international corruption. I would like to give you a sample of the plot but that spoiler would only show up the sheer stupidity of the plot.
When I got more than halfway through the book I decided to plod on as the plot got more ridiculous but admit to skipping a lot to see if Baldacci could redeem himself at the end, but to no avail. I am especially concerned that a top rated reviewer said it was a must read. Maybe he lives in another universe to me (and at one time I was a Top 500 Reviewer).
Baldacci has a great reputation going back beyond the days of the Coffee Club. I hope that he can take a long break and come up with something worthwhile next time.
The new character, Atlee Pine, and her Secretary, Carol Blum, work out of the small FBI office in Arizona. It is just the two women in this office but they are very proper with each other, pretty much knowing nothing about the other. So, there was no real chemistry during their interactions. Atlee herself was a pretty bland character. She is extremely strong, works out, lifts weights....and? I don't know. I like to get an image in my mind of the characters I read about. I just kept seeing She-Hulk, but flesh colored. I think she might have dark hair, I can't remember.
Other characters introduced seemed very basic. I wasn't sure which ones were supposed to be important or vital to the story line. The setting was Arizona, the Grand Canyon, and there was road trip. It felt very 'blah'.
The 'bad guys'... I wasn't really sure who they were until the end. Every character seemed to be someone Atlee shouldn't trust, but she did. I was waiting for an *Aha! " moment when they would turn on her. And it wasn't a good, suspenseful not knowing who the bad guy was. I was just confused. And people are dying and disappearing, but nobody seems to be looking for them.
In the end, I just didn't feel the intrigue or suspense that I have come to expect and enjoy from Baldacci books. Something just felt off when the ending didn't feel like an ending.
I gave Long Road to Mercy only 1 Star. I was very disappointed.
Top reviews from other countries
With this one, though, I was a bit put off even before the donkey was used as a prop. I am not much in favour of a female character drawn as if she were a man, to start with. Other female sleuths, notably those by Agatha Christie (Tommy and Tuppence) and by James Patterson are drawn as women, but as women who also investigate and are very good at it. And no, it was not just the supersizing of this detective that put me off; it was her entire demeanor. Amos Decker is supersized, but he is an integrated personality, for all his quirks and differences. I cannot see Atlee Pine ever being an integrated personality. She doesn't seem to think about conditions, like Decker or even John Puller. She just floats warily, but attentively, through things. Indeed, I think she is probably the least likeable and most flawed major character Baldacci has ever written.
I can't say if the story is any good. I will likely not get deeper into it than I am now, with the discovery of the disemboweled donkey. Between the singularly unappealing main character and the vastly unappealing use of an innocent animal to drive the story...no, just no. I think Baldacci has lost a reader with this one, maybe just for this series...but maybe I'll have to rethink reading any writer who thinks it's fine to use the killing of an animal as a plot device.
Having thoroughly enjoyed (almost without exception) his other books my husband read it first! He persevered to the end but found that it took a long time to get going & when it eventually did the plot became ridiculously unbelievable- Atlee Pine (the FBI agent) is cast as an unbelievable tattooed wonder woman!
On that basis I am not even going to waste my time on it & if it had been Baldacci’s first book we would have not read anymore & missed out on his many other superlative books & phenominal characters!
Will we still get his new book...... most probably ......it can’t possibly be this bad!
David Baldacci introduces us to FBI Agent Ashley Pine in the first of what has been predicted as a new series of books featuring the character. Pine is a loner happy to operate within the Bureau in a single agent office out near the Grand Canyon. Experiences from her childhood have contributed to her being the person she is and in one particular instance she has carried that into adulthood.
A mule has been found mutilated within the Grand Canyon and the person riding it has disappeared. Pine sets up the initial investigation but soon discovers that some of the FBI’s top brass are watching events very closely. Her interest is further piqued when she realises that the missing individual works for a company that does not exist. Then a Korean hitman arrives on the scene and it appears that Pine is his main target.
Feeling out of her depth Pine seeks support from her bosses and soon realises that this support is not forthcoming. In fact she is advised to let the matter drop and take some leave instead. However Pine’s interest is piqued and she goes undercover to follow the trail and soon finds that it goes to the highest echelons of government. As she gets closer to the answers though she finds more and more government agencies will do all they can to stop her.
Baldacci shows once again how good he is at crafting a tale that is extremely believable. The concept of David and Goliath is not a new one as the underdog successfully takes on government and all its resources. Baldacci skirts the political line of being anti big government by emphasising the role of overreach within government by individuals. However it is a narrow line. Worth a look.