This Dark Road to Mercy is a quick, smart and intriguing thriller by Wiley Cash. The story is about two young girls, Easter (12) and Ruby (5), who after finding themselves in the foster care system, following the death of their mother from a drug overdose, are approached by their absentee father seeking atonement and forgiveness. Little does their father know, but his desperate attempt at retribution puts them in the revenge path of a hired hitman.
As a former foster care worker, I was intrigued by the author’s use of the foster care system and the reappearance of the absentee father. It provides an interesting perspective, and the author gives a very realistic portrayal of what young girls in Easter and Ruby’s situations would act like and how they would view the world. I thoroughly enjoyed Easter’s observant, smart, strong-willed and jaded character, and the end of the book made me wish to learn what becomes of her.
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I thought the story could have revealed more of the characters’ histories. It gives glimpses, which may appeal to some readers because it reads like a movie in that way, but as a book, I would have loved a thicker narration. I would have loved more background into the relationship between the parents, how they became the dysfunctional people they are, and the incident that leads to the deadly relationship between Wade, the father, and the hitman Pruitt.
Although I wanted more story, I would still recommend This Dark Road to Mercy. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys a quick read or thrillers with a touch of sentimentality. I will be looking into Wiley Cash’s additional titles myself.
Other Novels by Wiley Cash:
- A Land More Kind Than Home
- The Louisiana Thing That Drives Me: The Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines
Coming Up: Look forward to a lighthearted memoir titled The Book of Joe: About a Dog and His Man by Vincent Price, and a gripping story titled Swarm Theory by Michigan author Christine Rice.