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Publisher's Summary

On a balmy spring evening, four high-school seniors - three boys and a girl - enter a park in the small Pennsylvania city of Conroy. The next morning, two of the boys are found shot to death, and the girl and the third boy are gone.

After three weeks with no leads and no sign of either of the two missing teenagers, the chief of police begins to wonder if they too were victims. But with no other suspects, the authorities conclude that one of these kids was the shooter.

The missing boy's grandmother, a secretary at the local parish church, maintains his innocence. On her behalf, the parish priest, Father Kevin Burch, hires former detective Mallory Russo as a private investigator to figure out what happened in the park that night.

Mallory had ended her nine-year stint with the Conroy police force some time ago after becoming a target of a smear campaign. Now a true-crime author, Mallory is surprised to receive the priest's offer - and highly intrigued by the case.

Detective Charlie Wanamaker is facing another sort of tragedy. He fled Conroy years ago with no plans to return to what he considered a dying factory town - until a family emergency brought him back. Finding the situation much worse than he'd thought, he trades his job as a big-city detective for one with the Conroy police department.

Assigned to the park shooting case, Charlie quickly realizes that the initial investigation left a lot of questions unanswered. Unofficially, he teams up with Mallory to uncover the truth and find the two kids, dead or alive. What Charlie and Mallory discover will take them down a twisted path that leads to an old unsolved murder - and justice for a killer with a heart of stone.

©2008 Marti Robb (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall

Good listen

I have liked every Mariah Stewart book I've read so felt confident this would be good also. I wasn't dissapointed. She always has a believable story line, interesting characters and I like that she has a several short series of books with the same characters. There is always a little romance but it isn't the main focus of the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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What a nice surprise!

A few years ago I picked up a book by Mariah Stewart and didn't get past 50 pages -- it was a true "romance", way too many lustful glances and much more kissy-face than I could tolerate in a book. As a result, I steered clear of Stewart ever since. Or I did, up until I saw this one listed on Audible. I read the blurb, and it sounded like a regular mystery -- I decided to try it.

Glad I did. It appears that Mariah Steward is another of those authors who've switched genres. This isn't anything close to a Harlequin -- yes, there's a boy-girl element, but with no more 'romantic' angle than any other piece of detective fiction. In fact, there might be even less -- it was a very very good book. It's apparently the first book in a trilogy, and I'm now looking for the next two books.

Which is the only reason I gave the book four stars instead of five -- the last big hunk of the book, added to the end, long after the mystery is solved, is nothing more than just a set-up for the next two books, the details and discussions of why the characters decided to create the "Mercy Street Foundation" -- having acquired the experience they did in this book, to then set up a charitable foundation to help other families who had members who'd become "lost", and who couldn't afford to have them traced by conventional means.

It really wasn't necessary to add all that discussion among the characters over their future plans -- the book itself was excellent. I think most readers would be highly likely to look for more 'Mercy Street' books by themselves, without what amounted to a 45 minute advertisement.

Still, don't be put off -- it's a solid mystery, great characters, good plot, definitely a page-turner. Just know that once the mystery itself is solved, you're free to switch off.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dana
  • Knoxville, TN, United States
  • 05-10-10

Another good series from Ms. Stewart

I really enjoyed Stewart's truth series and now I am so glad she is writing a new mercy series. I enjoy the characters and the mysteries involved in her stories. I also like the side love stories she adds in and it's nice that the mysteries are the main focus of the books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andre
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 03-02-09


The book reads as if trying to avoid reprimands from the parochial school teachers. The plot is reasonable, but the literary writing is abysmal, and character description totally inadequate. It's not really worth the time it takes to listen to it.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mercy Street

Excellent - keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what's next.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

audio soap opera

The book is amateurish in style and cliche-filled (the narrator actually describes the central character at one point as weeping with "sobs that came from somewhere deep within her"). The story was ok, but one whose mystery I figured out in the first third of the book. The good guys (and girls) are appealing. The bad guys (and girl) are over-the-top bad. If you need ambiguity in a novel to keep you interested, pass this one by.

The reader is too tentative and speaks unnaturally. For instance, she emphasizes the word, "to" in ways that we never do when actually talking to one another. She also drops her voice in ways that make the main character (Mallory) sound unsure of herself. I won't listen to another audio book by this reader.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 07-09-12


What did you like best about Mercy Street? What did you like least?

The key to a good mystery is having a villian who is a match for the investigator. I didn't have that satisfaction here. Between the smart ex-cop, loyal chief cop, and sexy new cop from the city, there was never any doubt that all would be well.

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  • Sonja
  • MARYSVILLE, KS, United States
  • 05-29-12


If you could sum up Mercy Street in three words, what would they be?

exciting, involved, great

What did you like best about this story?

great story line

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

love her voices

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I like that the missing father comes back into her life.

Any additional comments?

must read (or listen)

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  • Heather
  • Council, ID, United States
  • 03-16-12

Don't waste your time...

This book is one of the worst. The story is so very obviously contrived, and the performance is lousy. There is no thrill in this thriller.

  • Overall


After over 100 unabridged books I finally found one that should be! Interesting plot, decent dialog and 78% emotional bologna. Watch out boy's!

2 of 7 people found this review helpful