"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Review of “Dying for Mercy” by Mary Jane Clark

Short chapters and multiple point of views make for an interesting compliment to this novel which seems to mix suspense fiction with aspects of both mystery and thriller genres. The story is fast-paced as the author quickly moves you from one head into another. Yet, the puzzle you are trying to get all of the pieces to is very complex. The pages of “Dying for Mercy” are layered with not only slightly obscure, yet auspicious clues, but also a wealth of suspicious characters.


One particular, anonymous point of view----always written in italics—who seems to have everything to lose, lends a deeply enigmatic element as well as a spooky touch. Also, Innes Wheelock, the man whose death the puzzle of this novel evolves around, is an elaborately baffling character. He is an enigma in the best sense of the word. The mix of a life of excess and prestige weaves with his religious ideals and goals of justice. With his death, he begins a puzzle for those connected to him in a mind of forcing repentance.

Mary Jane Clark has a way of making you question everyone. With her omniscient point of view, all that is purposefully left unsaid along with the little hints the reader does get, makes her excel in her craft. I was even questioning the good guys!

Her setting of Tuxedo Park is a wonderful, complimentary backdrop—extravagant—lending wealth, beauty, excess and the illusion of safety. It is rare an author comes up with a setting that so matches the characters, the setting becomes a character in its own right.

Thinking back over the story, for a murder mystery, her characters were well-crafted, circling their personalities around the character Innes and his suicide. The story was really about motivations right to the very end. You find yourself questioning not only what motivated the initial suicide and following murders, but, what keeps you reading, is the goal of finding out what is being covered up.

Reviewed by Kiki Howell, Author of  "A Modern Day Witch Hunt" for Suspense
Magazine


When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, cohost of the country's premier morning television show KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead—a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose the sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens.

Determined to find out the truth, Eliza and her KEY News colleagues—producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman B.J. D'Elia, and psychiatrist Margo Gonzalez—discover that Pentimento holds the key. Nestled in the park's sprawling architectural masterpieces, picturesque gardeners' cottages, and lush, rolling landscape, the glorious mansion is actually a giant "puzzle house," filled with ingenious clues hidden in its fireplaces, fountains, and frescoes that lead them from one suspicious locale to another—and, one by one, to the victims of a fiendish killer.

As Pentimento gives up its secrets, it becomes clear that no amount of wealth or privilege will keep the residents of Tuxedo Park safe. But just when Eliza unearths one final surprise, she comes face-to-face with a murderer who believes that some puzzles should never be solved.

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.