Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart
This time out, I have the latest from Mariah Stewart, Mercy Street (Ballantine). In the small town of Conroy, Pennsylvania, a horrific double murder of two teenage boys and the disappearance of two more teens has everyone on edge. A local priest and close friend of the family of the missing boy convinces his wealthy cousin (who happens to have a wife and son who went missing a year ago) to finance a private investigation since the police are making no progress, and now they're busy with a sniper. Enter Mallory Russo, former Conroy police detective turned wannabe true crime author. She's not really sure she wants to investigate this murder/disappearance, but her investigative side is quickly hooked on figuring out the whodunit, despite her civilian position. Working with her quietly is new Conroy Detective Charlie Wanamaker, a native Conroy citizen only recently returned from Philadelphia to deal with his family. Both have issues they must set aside to deal with this case, and they're not getting a lot of help from the people involved or closest to the victims. Mallory's instincts are good, though, and they find leads the police had earlier missed. This has a great mystery, as well as some really interesting secondary characters. My biggest complaint, though, is the dearth of romance here. We don't even meet Mallory for a couple chapters, nor Charlie, and much of their interaction is strictly work-related. I am not saying, though, that I didn't like this book. I liked it quite a lot, just not as a romance, but as a mystery. There are some very compelling folks here, who I imagine will be the focus of later stories in the series, which makes me happy, and I also imagine we'll see more of Mallory and Charlie in those later stories. I'm very interested to see just how the cousin's story plays out. I'm going to give this one three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!
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