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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult has an incredible talent for taking hot-button social issues and weaving them into compelling page-turners. In Mercy, she explores the depths of love in its many forms. Police chief Cameron McDonald has lived in idyllic Wheelock, Massachusetts for most of his life, as has his beloved wife Allie. Their comfortable lives are thrown into tumult, however, when Cam's distant cousin Jamie arrives in town along with his wife's dead body. Jamie admits to the murder - a mercy killing to end the pain caused by a ravaging cancer. And now Cam is torn by his oath to uphold justice and his family obligations as chief of the Scottish McDonald clan. Meanwhile, another new arrival in town, Mia Townsend, threatens to unwittingly drive a dagger through Cam's marriage. Deftly portraying the complexities of love and passion, Picoult delivers another literary triumph with Mercy.
©1996 Jodi Picoult (P)2006 Recorded Books,LLC

Critic Reviews

"What could have been a competent, topical novel about a mercy killing becomes, in Picoult's hands, an inspired meditation on love." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Picoult meet Gabeldon whilst searchin' the heather

Yep..Diana Gabeldon ran across Jodi Picould one day while they were a'roamin ye auld highlands and they agreed to write a book together..or many they didn't but it just seems that way from this book.I think Nora Roberts might have joined in on this mess of a book too....theres a lot of her in it, including her key phrase of "He fisted her hair and drew her to the floor"
Theres a lot more uncensored lovemaking in Gabeldons books-plenty of sex, but none of it ticked me off as much as the cheating sheriff does in Mercy,

Wheelock Mass was settled 200 years ago by McDonalds mostly,along with a few other scotish surnames after the battle at Culoden and the Laird of the Clan McDnals has been the top cop in the little town ever since. Todays Chief of Police, one Cameron McDonald really wants to be a tourist writer but he had to return home because his father had died and it was his turn to become chief of police. He came back and maid the town librarian not the cheerleader that everyone thought he'd end up with-shes a writer and has returned to town for a opening preview and reading from her newest book.

The plot is trite tripe. So corny that I had a hard time not rolling my eyes and saying "OH Really"????? to some dumb turn of events. And to the way the female protagonist has chosen to not stand up for herself during her entire marriage. You know thats gotta go!

Combine it with a wandering woman who just shows up in town and charms the chief, a distant cousin who murders his wife in Wheelock because he knew The Laird would give him a fair judgment..after all, the wife requested she be murdered to get her out of all the pain she was in. I had so many "Why didn't they" questions about this act, as it is supposed to take place in this day and age-primarily why didn't they get this desire to be let go due to unmitigating cancer pain on the books first-get some group behind it-or even move here to Oregon where Mercy Killing is legal!

I was disappointed in the book..what might have been a good Picoult novel turned out to be an average listen with some unrealistic characters, a flat plot and a wish I hadn't downloaded it to start with. This goes in my returns file!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Vicki
  • Rochelle, GA, United States
  • 10-17-12

An Interesting Read

Would you listen to Mercy again? Why?

I could listen to Mercy again in a few years. The story line was very different and really made you think.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

In some regards, yes, the plot did have some surprising twists. You can read the book jacket and find out that Jamie McDonald shows up in the town of Weelock (not sure of spelling here) and notifies his cousin, Cameron McDonald, the town's police chief, that his wife is dead and he killer her.He then adds she asked him to do so but its actually the coroner who reveals the suffering her body had undergone during cancer treatments. People are divided and Cameron's wife, Allie, is fully in Jamie's corner. Secretly, I believe Cameron was, too, since he hired Jamie an attorney. The book has two story lines because at the same time Jamie appears with his bombshell, a strange woman, Mia, shows up in town and is hired by Allie to work in her flower shop. An attraction blossoms almost immediately between Cameron and Mia and I felt dislike for Cameron for pursuing this attraction while I also was sympathetic towards him for trying to help Jamie, though not publicly.

What does Alyssa Bresnahan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I have listened to books by this narrator before and she brings the characters to life, I really felt more in tune to them by listening to the story rather than reading it. Its one of the things I love the most about audible books.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had various emotions throughout the book; shock as Jamie recounted he and Maggie's last days together, even though I knew a mercy killing was the basic plot of the book. I felt frustration for Allie as she tried so hard to make things so calm and peaceful and smooth for Cameron that she kind of faded into the background. I was thoroughly at odds when Cameron and Mia began their affair and I felt Cameron's shame and Allie's fury when both his mother and Allie discovered the affair. The book ended the way I wanted with Jamie's trial. I think mercy killing is a hard issue but Picoult shared it in such intense detail that I could see how you could do something like this because you loved someone so much you didn't want them to suffer anymore.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

What disappointed you about Mercy?

I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan - but this one was just no good. ---Spoilers ---Like other reviewers ; I could not find a single redeeming quality in Cam or Mia - and usually Picoult is so good at making us see the silver lining in everyone. I rooted so hard for Allie to finally stick it to Cam for never being who she deserved and then betraying her on top of it, but instead saw her go back to him like nothing had happened. The Jamie and Maggie storyline had potential, but just fell a bit flat to me. Throw in a bunch of scenes that did nothing to further the plot and a rushed ending, and you get a dud from a usually stellar author. Disappointing book.

What about Alyssa Bresnahan’s performance did you like?

She did well - no complaints about the reader!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Mercy?

Spoiler - Change the ending so that Allie does what she should have! She should have been strong and not settled for less than what she deserved. Such a disheartening way to leave the only character I grew to care for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What is Mercy?

The story revolves around Cameron and Allie MacDonald, in the small village of Wheelock, Massachusetts in the Berkshire. It is a town rich in Scottish history where the majority of residents are Scottish descendants, where weddings are ended with the Scottish tradition of a blood vow, where Cameron MacDonald is not only the chief of police but also the clan chief – all of which were expected of him to do. On what seemed to be a most ordinary day turns out to be a most extraordinary day for Cam and his wife of eight years; events on the day will lead them down a shaky path of questions, desires and wants. The 1st turn of events is when Jamie MacDonald, a cousin of Cameron's, commits an act of mercy by smoothing his cancer-ravaged wife Maggie in the Wheelock Inn. The 2nd turn of event is when Allie, the local florist, hires Mia, a blue-eyed exotic beauty with a knack for flower arranging. As Allie becomes involved with Jamie’s case, Cam begins a love affair with Mia that is destine to bring his marriage to almost a point of destruction. Jamie tells Allie that a marriage is never “never fifty-fifty” and like him, Allie is the one the loves more.

At points in the book I hated Cam for what he was doing to his wife yet at times so wanted him to find happiness with Mia – Cameron loved her for her free spirit to go places at a whim and Mia love Cam for stability and a place to call home. The love story of Jamie and Maggie is heart breaking. How do you kill the person that is your whole being? How do you ask that person to perform such an act, an act of mercy?

Picoult’s writing is like poetry for me and this book is no exception, especially her attention to the development of her central characters. The title of this book “Mercy” has dual meaning. The most obvious is the mercy killing of Maggie. But what is mercy? It is compassion or benevolence. I think this would apply to Allie towards Cam.

I have read many reviews on this book I see a lot of people did not rate it well – maybe the fact that I listen to this book painted it differently for me but I loved the book. Jodi Picoult rarely disappoints me and never writes about subjects that are easy to swallow - and Mercy was no different.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Life, love, death & adultury

This book is filled with controversial issues that tug on your heart & mind. Right & wrong is at times not clear cut. Do you judge by the exact letter of the law or do you look at the "spirit" of the law? Jodie Puccult has a way of truly forcing you to look at important issues from all sides of the characters involved. It made me sad, yet fulfilled at the same time. Excellently worded. Can't wait to read or listen to another book by this author. Narrator could have done a bit better on her voices of each character so it was more clear who was speaking but overall, extremely interesting.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Timely story

This is a topic that could be talked about at length at a book club. Jamie McDonald kills his wife Maggie because she had terminal cancer and was in massive pain. Jamie swears that she asked him to kill her, however, nothing was put into writing. Jamie’s cousin is the chief of police, in fact a lot of McDonalds love in the city. So Jamie goes on trial. In a back story, the chief of police cheats on his wife Ally after she hires a new worker in the florist shop she owns. Over all I enjoyed the book and would recommend it

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Jodi Picoult

I’ve read more than a dozen of Jodi’s books and have enjoyed most all of them. This book left me bored and disappointed

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

decent story

Not her best work,but a good story. did hold my interest through out the book.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bad!! Really really bad!

I still have several hours to go and I am returning for my credit back! I'm a fan of Jodi Picoult and I am very disappointed in the book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

Enjoyed listening to this story. Your viewpoint for each of the stories, Jamie and Maggie; Cam, Ali and Mia were very touching. Thanks!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • 09-22-09

Superb

Jodi is deservedly well-respected and novels such as this continue to show why.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Evelyn
  • 09-23-17

Not her best

I found this book a bit turgid. The love affair between Cam and Mia took up a lot of the narrative and I sided with Allie throughout although she was unconvincingly oblivious to what was going on which I thought improbable. The main thrust of the story about euthanasia was quite harrowing although the husband was quite an unsympathetic character. The Scottish side story was quite boring. I like most of Jodi Piccoult's books but this is not a favourite.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kimmie
  • 06-09-17

Fantastic

Another fantastic book by Jodi and couldn't stop listening to it and hoped and prayed at the end of everything would and Elly and Cam could ,have a baby. Please write another both where Elly and Cam have a baby but Elly was worried the baby wasn't Cam's but the cowboys, she needed to get a DNA sample from Cam without he realised what was going or Mia had Cams baby. Carry on writing as your brilliant at telling stories ......thank you ❤️