Posted 20 hours ago

Long Road to Mercy: 1 (Atlee Pine Thriller)

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At the age of 5 years old, Atlee was left seriously assaulted after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted from their bedroom. If you're wondering why David Baldacci is considered the best, look no further than LONG ROAD TO MERCY. At the beginning, she remains fixated on finding out what happened to Mercy; believing that a prolific serial killer was involved, she visits him in the no-mercy federal prison in which he's expected to spend the rest of his life. Baldacci has scattered enough crumbs to keep the reader wondering and one can hope that the series will continue to give more depth to the character and her inner turmoil.

But in the end, she will have to confront not only a new monster, but also the old one of her nightmares. I hate cliche characters, and I’m tired of reading the same character with a different name/background/job. There is a tiny, sweet romance budding at the end of the story and I hope Baldacci continues with this in the next book. 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. 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.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. Number one bestseller Long Road to Mercy is the heart-pounding first novel in the FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine series by bestselling author David Baldacci.

She knows about killers and perhaps understands them better than any profiler in the FBI, but it soon becomes clear that she will need to put her skills to the ultimate test in this investigation.You recognise that Mr Baldacci has taken inspiration from the state of world politics but in particular those in the US. She’s a tad extraordinary, almost an Olympic level athlete and well versed in a number of fighting methods but I like that she’s also a big solid girl and not too cliched / extreme in either her prickliness or her good-naturedness. There are two black characters, but one is just a guy we meet in the gym and who we don’t even know his name, and another guy who is only a taxi driver. She lives an isolated life and wants few to see her inner scars, though seems destined to share when the time seems right. There's enough in here to intrigue me and I do want to know more about the missing sister but I'm hoping for a better plot for book 2 than this one.

What starts as an animal murder and a missing person case soon escalates to a plot of political espionage involving North Korea, Russia and the US Government. Because of her back story and the great set of characteristics attributed to her, including her FBI badge and "creds", I liked Atlee Pine. One sentence summary: A book filled with Baldacci cliches, too-big plot and too-simple ending, and a boring main character. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. After taking her new position in Shattered Rock, Arizona, near the Grand Canyon National Park, Atlee begins investigating her sister’s disappearance in her free time.

But I'm one of those who go with the flow and accept a story for what it is - a story - and this is a good one. Mind you, though, that the early chapters in which we learn much about our heroine did give me cause for concern. Those around Atlee Pine help support her and strengthen the story in their own way, as the reader pushes through this series debut. I hope David Baldacci's hard at work on Agent Pine's next adventure, because I can't wait to dive into it. David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; the feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star.

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