Mariah Stewart – Mercy Street

35. Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart (2008)
Mercy Street Series Book 1
Length: 302 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 22 April 2013
Finished: 25 April 2013
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 April 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Mariah Stewart is a new author for me.

On a balmy spring evening, four high school seniors – three boys and one girl – enter a park in the small city of Conroy, Pennsylvania. The next morning, two of the boys are found shot to death, and the girl and the third boy are gone. After three weeks with no leads and no sign of either of the missing teenagers, the chief of police begins to wonder if they too were victims. But with no other suspects, the authorities conclude that one of these kids was the shooter. 

The missing boy’s grandmother, a secretary at the local parish, maintains her grandson’s innocence. On her behalf, the parish priest, Father Kevin Burch, hires former detective Mallory Russo as a private investigator to find 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 the 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. She can’t help but accept Father Kevin’s request – especially when she learns that her investigation will be financed by Father Burch’s cousin the reclusive billionaire Robert Magellan, a man whose own wife and infant son disappeared without a trace a year ago, a man who clearly understands the heartache of not knowing what happened to a loved one.

Detective Charlie Wanamaker is facing another sort of tragedy. He fled Conroy years ago with no intention of returning to what he considered a dying factory town – until a family emergency brought him back. Finding the situation much worse than he’d originally thought, Charlie 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 many questions unanswered. Unofficially, he teams up with Mallory to uncover the truth and find the two teenagers, dead or alive. What Charlie and Mallory discover will take them down a twisted path that leads to an unsolved murder – and justice for a killer with a heart of stone.

I definitely enjoyed reading this book. I could follow the twists and turns of this mystery much better than the previous mystery that I had read. This book did have some romantic elements woven into the story, but they were very tastefully handled and not overdone in any way. I give Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart an A! and will certainly be on the lookout for more books by this author to read.

A! – (90-95%)  

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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