I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This New York Times bestselling author has written a novel about two girls and their lives during the time when Sammy Sousa was battling McGuire for the most home runs and beat Maris's record.  Years ago, their father legally gave all rights to being a parent to Easter and Ruby Quillby.  Wade was a minor league player who once played with Sousa and is now washed up.  Afterward, her mother began a quick spiral downward into drugs and depression until finally one day, when Easter was twelve and Ruby six, their mother overdoses on drugs.

They are then sent to a foster home to stay while their mother's parents in Alaska start the process of getting custody of them.  But Easter doesn't want to go to Alaska.  She's happy in Gastonia, where she has a safe home and a boyfriend, who knocks on her window and they spend time talking to each other all night.

Everything changes one night, when their father, Wade Chesterfield, who has been denied access to the girls, knocks on their window.  Easter thinks it's her boyfriend, so she opens it, only to see her father coming through the window.  Before she can stop her, Ruby runs to him.  Ruby doesn't remember that he was a bad father and husband to their mother.  Wade threatens to take off with Ruby if Easter calls the alarm, so she decides to go quietly with him.

But Wade isn't the only one looking for the girls.  A man hired by a mob boss who robbed an armored car and stole a lot of money, part of which Wade stole from him, when he was in his house doing construction repairs.  But this is also the story of Brady, Easter and Ruby's guardian ad litem, who knows Wade has the money and the bad guys are after them, but can't get the police interested.  They only care about the catching the mobster, not the lives of two innocent girls. The Brady had an unfortunate incident that got him booted off the police force and caused him to lose his family.  Helping these two girls becomes a mission for him.

Easter doesn't know what to make of Wade.  She feels so conflicted.  He left, but now he's back, but she knows that trouble is looking for them.  She wants to hold on to the resentment she has for her father, but she also desperately wants his love and attention.  This book will hit you in the gut when you think about what these poor girls have gone through and what their fate may be.  This is one not to be missed.

*Addendum: This novel won the 2014 Golden Dagger Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers Associates.  This is a very high honor.

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/This-Dark-Road-Mercy-Novel/dp/0062088262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477057014&sr=8-1&keywords=the+dark+road+to+mercy

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